A machine that can make you seasick without leaving shore was unveiled yesterday when the Maritime Services Training Institute launched its new top-of-the-range marine simulator at a radar and ship-handling simulation centre. For its debut, the $4.2 million NTPRO 4000 simulator, comprising an instructor station, three bridge stations, ship controls and 3D graphics, rehearsed a search-and-rescue operation for a cargo vessel after a collision in heavy seas. The simulator is made by Transas Technologies, which supplies marine equipment to shipping firms, coastguard fleets, port authorities and naval academies around the world. 'The equipment can simulate the behaviour and performance of different types of ships, from a 200,000-tonne tanker to a small patrol boat,' said institute manager Tony Yeung Pui-keung. 'It is the only model to include helicopters. 'We can create strong currents, large surges, bad weather, poor visibility and even seasickness,' he explained as the image bobbed up and down on a 165-degree curved screen to the detriment of at least one observer. The database includes 16 operational ships, 94 target vessels, four helicopters and 12 exercise areas, all captured in painstaking detail, from aircraft descending into Chek Lap Kok to laser shows above Victoria Harbour. Up to three groups can run exercises simultaneously on three separate tasks or as part of a co-ordinated operation. The institute offers courses for pre-employment trainees and in-service seafarers. It plans to use the simulator to provide pre-sea training for its full-time students and to train seaman and officers in radar, ship handling and navigation. The institute will hold an open day for the public next Friday and Saturday, when trainees will demonstrate the simulator, onboard security and handling of terrorist attacks. Admission is free.