Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces Marine SAR Helicopter Mission Simulation Project One of Three Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program Projects Announced Today

(St. John’s, NL) – Today Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced three projects from its Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program (AOSP) stream, including the Marine SAR Helicopter Mission Simulation Project. This project will deliver a new device and capability to train search and rescue (SAR) operators under realistic mission scenarios including turbulent flow zones, sea state, complex ship and offshore installation geometries and rescue rafts while simulating the full array of  east coast Canada and arctic harsh environmental conditions.

With a total project value of $2,058,616, the Ocean Supercluster will provide $1,029,308 in funding for the project with the balance in funding coming from industry. The Marine SAR Helicopter Mission Simulation Project is led by Bluedrop Training and Simulation partnered with Cougar Helicopters and the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland to offer the new hoist simulator training for all SAR operators requiring specialized training in marine, offshore oil and gas, arctic and general harsh ocean operating environments.

With nearly seventy percent of search and rescue occurring in marine environments, this project will directly increase the safety of personnel working in ocean sectors and improve the quality of decision making and operational intelligence of real-time marine operations. This will represent the first training device to provide realistic simulation of performing a hoist over oceans, various support vessels and offshore platforms, using state of the art virtual simulation that leverages data analytics and Artificial Intelligence to provide best in class, real-time feedback and adaptive learning for ocean rescue activity with global applications.

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster is an industry-led transformative cluster focused on tackling the shared challenges across ocean sectors through a collaborative program designed to accelerate the development and commercialization of globally-relevant solutions, while also building a highly-capable, inclusive workforce. To encourage innovation and trigger new industry investment during these challenging times, the Ocean Supercluster supplemented its core programs with an additional project stream called Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program (AOSP). This enables the development of smaller projects on a shorter timeline that deliver tangible outcomes, while continuing to build resiliency in our ocean sectors.




“I am thrilled to see Canada’s Ocean Supercluster building such momentum, adding three new and highly-innovative projects to its Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program. By investing in Made-in-Canada technologies and solutions, like the Marine SAR Helicopter Mission Simulation Project, Superclusters are energizing the ocean sector ecosystem, which is really exciting for Canada. This kind of cross-sector collaboration is what will make the difference in pushing Canada further in the ocean technology market.” The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry


“By working together, Bluedrop Training and Simulation, Cougar Helicopters, and the Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland will develop and commercialize the first device to leverage data analytics and Artificial Intelligence in the delivery of realistic and adaptive training for marine search and rescue teams. We are excited to see our members come together to collaborate and solve shared ocean challenges.” Kendra MacDonald, CEO, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster


“The project will enable Bluedrop to offer a new Sikorski S92 Hoist Mission Training Simulator (HMTS) for all SAR operators requiring specialization in arctic, offshore and marine operations. The expertise of each team member will provide a new training service and will guarantee quality training and state-of-the-art virtual simulation technology to meet this operational requirement.

Derrick Rowe, CEO of Bluedrop Training & Simulation.


“The HMTS will be installed at Cougar Helicopter’s facility in St. John’s, where Cougar’s team of professionals provide 24/7/365 SAR capabilities to its offshore oil and gas clients using a dedicated and specially configured Sikorsky S92 helicopter. Cougar’s operational experts will help define new training qualification and safety standards.” Hank Williams, COO of Cougar Helicopters


“The graduate students and postdocs from Memorial University who will be contributing to this project will have the unique opportunity to benefit from industry collaboration experience. Students will be primarily housed in the Ocean Safety Lab at the Marine Institute of Memorial University. A diversity of students are actively being recruited including qualified female, aboriginal and ethnically diverse candidates.”   Dr. Heather Carnahan, MI, School of Maritime Studies


Watch the project video announcement here.





Media contact:

Nancy Andrews