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Santiago, April 5, 2023. SAAM Towage and the School of Engineering at Universidad Andrés Bello joined forces to create the SAAM Towage-UNAB Academy, a training program for future officers of the company’s fleet in Chile, which aims to strengthen the operational and management profiles of the company’s captains and engineers.

“We have a long-standing relationship with UNAB. Today, with the start of this new academy, we seek to strengthen our partnership by providing excellent training to our crews, with theoretical and practical activities that are always focused on operational excellence, safety and care for people and the environment. This academy allows us to provide formal training to tugboat captains and professionalize their functions,” said SAAM Towage’s country manager in Chile, Cristián Cifuentes.

The executive pointed out that crews are becoming increasingly specialized and these training courses give them the opportunity to acquire theoretical knowledge, such as domestic and international regulations, as well as practical knowledge by studying real cases and taking part in simulations in navigation and machinery laboratories.

The director of the Merchant Marine Engineering program at UNAB’s Viña del Mar Campus, Alejandro Lagunas, explained that 16 new officers will be trained at the SAAM Towage-UNAB Academy this year. The program of asynchronous online classes lasts six months.

“The students will have an advanced interactive learning platform and can stay in constant contact with the professors to answer any questions they may have. This program aims to standardize competencies, pursuing operational excellence for the SAAM fleet. It will begin in Chile, and then be rolled out soon in other countries where the group operates. This challenge could position UNAB as a national benchmark and an internationally recognized professional training center”, he emphasized.

Sixteen officers will participate in this version, to be taught by UNAB professors and SAAM executives.

The UNAB classrooms have already trained 87 captains from Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Honduras, Ecuador and Guatemala, all countries where SAAM—the continent’s largest towage operator—operates. The course will cover 15 subjects over 450 teaching hours and culminate with an evaluation.