Case study – Lyttelton Port Company -March 2021

Lyttelton Port Company (LPC) is the largest commercial port and shipping hub in New Zealand’s South Island. It is located in Lyttelton Harbour at coordinates 43.6⁰ S 172.7⁰ E.

Seasickness issues

LPC’s new pilot vessel Awaroa is an enclosed, high-speed vessel that operates out of Lyttelton Harbour. It is in use 24 hours a day, in rotation, by several skippers, crew and pilots.

Pilot boarding points are located offshore in Pegasus Bay, which is directly exposed to the South Pacific Ocean. Wave conditions can range from mild to very high, often making it a challenge for pilots to board vessels.

Pilots have reported becoming seasick on the pilot boat when studying their pilotage plans or donning safety gear. Seasickness symptoms can be amplified when there are failed attempts to board a vessel, and at night when the natural horizon is obscured. 

 

Captain Chris Coleman’s story

Captain Chris Coleman, a pilot on the Awaroa, began suffering from occasional seasickness during his shifts a few years ago.He approached See-LEVEL anonymously during our advertised volunteer trial programme that took place in 2021. He took part in our trial and discovered that wearing a See-LEVEL headset resulted in a significant improvement to his seasickness symptoms. 

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During his volunteer testing, Captain Coleman explained:

“​During the trial, I felt quite queasy out by the heads. A big north-easterly swell, combined with wind waves across the swell, made the motion very uncomfortable. As soon as I put on the See-LEVEL headset I  felt a lot better, and I continued to improve the longer I wore it. By the time I took the headset off again I was feeling completely normal.”

As a marine pilot for LPC, Captain Coleman is responsible for bringing large vessels safely into the harbour. Falling ill due to seasickness is simply not an option.

“​Being seasick is not good in our job. As soon I climb up the ladder and the bridge door opens, it’s show time. It’s no time to feel ill. See-LEVEL has made a huge difference for me. As far as I am concerned, it’s a great product.”

As a result of Captain Coleman’s experience during the trial, the LPC purchased a See-LEVEL Companion Edition for the Awaroa.

Having the headset onboard means Captain Coleman and any other crew members can reverse their seasickness symptoms within minutes — allowing them to focus clearly on the task at hand and safely bring ships to shore. 

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To view the full TV3 interview click here
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