Capt. Kevin F Quinn Friday Oct 26th , 2007 Dublin Ireland IMCC A PILOT’S LOG
What is a pilot? • A qualified individual possessing local knowledge of the harbour or waters in which he/she pilots who is usually licensed by a public authority who is taken onboard at a particular place ( pilot station) to conduct a ship through a river road or channel or from or into a port. Pilots are usually established through legislation in the major seaports of that country. • British Merchant Shipping Act refers to a pilot as a person not belonging to a ship but who has the conduct thereof
Where does the word come from? • The original meaning of the word pilot was steersmen. I.e. steering the vessel.
River Pilots- Canada • St. Lawrence Pilotage 261 miles. • Join at Les Escoumins approx. 14 miles from the entrance of the Saguenay River • Take ship up to Quebec station 122 miles • Then Quebec Pilot takes ship up to Three Rivers station. 68 miles. • Then onwards to Montreal. 71 miles • All pilots belong to LPA
Harbour Pilots/Docking Pilots • Pilot station is within harbour limits • Usually relatively short passage less than 10 miles • Pilot is very experienced at ship handling • Takes con of vessel throughout passage including docking the vessel. • Usually with tugs
Types of Pilots • Deep Sea • Coastal • River • Harbour • Ice Advisor/Pilot
Job description • odd hours for days on end • Usually shift work- ie 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off on call 24/7. • Must be physically fit to climb up pilot ladders then climb up several flights of stairs to bridge usually done in a hurry. • Must be mentally sharp , able to quickly disseminate information and react in seconds. • Want to go out in the middle of the night when its blowing a gale, raining or snowing , visibility near or 0 , jump on the pilot boat, thrash around for 30-45 minutes to get to your ship, go out on deck, time it just right to jump from the deck of the pilot boat which is moving up and down 2-3 meters at times, the ship is also rolling, jump for the pilot ladder, full death grip, scurry up the ladder, so that you don’t get caught in between the boat and the ship, land on deck, walk up to the bridge sometimes several flights of stairs ,shake hands with the OLD MAN and take over the conduct of the vessel after a very brief exchange of information between you and the “Old Man” who then says “She’s all your’s Pilot” • when most people are home in bed.
Qualifications • Most Pilotage groups and or Authorities are regulated by the country such as in Canada by the Minister of Transport and have very strict guidelines for qualifications-legislated. • In Canada minimum standard for most compulsory ports is ON1 – Master Home Trade • Some of the secondary ports have lower standards such as 3rd Mates or 2nd Mates depending on the pilotage risk as viewed by the local authority. I know of one port in particular that handles large handi size ships on a regular basis where the pilot has no qualifications. • All have the same high standard of local knowledge when it comes to familiarity with the ports. Candidates must have a min number of years working in/out of the port while serving in that above capacity. • Most who go on to become pilots unusually are senior ranking members of the crew such as the Master or C/O serving onboard regular trading vessels of the port they wish to be a pilot.
Hazards of the job • As previously stated embarking/disembarking • Irregular hours – sleeping during the day when most people are working. • Stress • Studies have been completed by Australian organization showing various stress levels. • Can be times of boredom , when the job is becoming routine – dangerous. • Dogs.
Pilotage in Canada • Comes under the Pilotage Act 1972 (R.S.C 1985) of Canada. • Pilotage is Regulated by 4 Regional Authorities. • Atlantic Pilotage Authority • Laurentien Pilotage Authority • Great lakes Pilotage Authority • Pacific Pilotage Authority • All the Authorities are directly responsible to the Minister of Transport through and by the Act. • Mandate of the Authorities is “to establish, operate, maintain and administer in the interest of safety an efficient pilotage service within the waters of the authority.
Pilots Liability • Pilots are liable for their negligence resulting in loss of or damage thereof. • This liability is limited to $ 1000.00 • As well the association of Pilot’s is limited to $ 1000.00 as a result of negligence or wrong doing by one of their employed licensed pilots. ?
Relationship of Master and Pilot • TMO & PA -usually a very good relationship but there are times when strained. • Nothing supersedes the Masters command position onboard, however the pilot has the legislative powers to have the conduct of the vessel to safely navigate. • In Canada should the Master disagree with the conduct of the Pilot and decide to relieve the pilot of his duties he must make a written statement to the Minister of his reasons why within 72 hrs of his actions and is subject to a fine if they are found to be unreasonable. • Case of the near collision of the Diamond Star ( Tanker) with one of the piers of the Laviolette bridge near Quebec downbound in the seaway with pilot onboard. Master on the bridge and notices pier of bridge straight ahead. Master orders hard-a-port, pilot immediately counter acts with hard a- stbd. Master re-ordered hard-a port and they just miss the pier and bridge. • After clearing bridge Master goes over to pilot and smells alcohol on his breath and immediately orders him to take him to anchour, relieved him of his duties and had to order another pilot which results in delay’s to the vessel. • Recovery of lost time =0 • The best way to avoid above situations is to have good communications right from the very beginning when the Pilot boards the vessel with an exchange of Information. • Any suspicions at all ask questions.
Bridge Resource Management • Bridge Team • Master, OOW, wheelsman • All to be attentive to the pilot helm and engine orders. • Pilot could be in error and Bridge Team must pick up on it right away. • Once Master and Pilot have exchanged info , Master should go over with OOW again to make sure he understands passage. • Proactive approach
Ice Advisor • Technical name is Advisor however known onboard the vessel as the Ice Pilot. • Experienced Mariner usually with Master Mariner’s qualification and or experience. Min experience in Ice as senior officer. • Local Knowledge of Area such as Gulf of St. Lawrence with particular emphasis to effects of wind and currents on ice. • Join vessel inbound at Port aux Basque or Sydney. If ice conditions too much then St. Pierre to the East or Halifax to the SW. • Pilot vessel to Escoumin pilot station where Licensed pilot of the LPA takes the con. • Distance is approx. 450 miles depending on routing. • Usual trip is 2 days can be as many as 3-4 depending on ice conditions. • Outbound usually the load port or discharge port is the easiest as the St. Lawrence pilots do not like Ice pilots. • Start to Ice Pilot once LPA pilot is away at Ecoumin Pilot station. • Ice Chart Jan 15, 2007, open water. ?
Aids for the Master and Ice Advisor • Ice Chart- every 6 hours from Ice Halifax. • Weather Forecast • Good radar and search light is essential !!! • Chart is for Feb 15, 2007, open water up to Sept Iles- 7 Islands ?
Canadian Ice Classes of Vessel • No Class • Ice Class D- Marginal • Ice Class C- Not bad • Ice Class B- Good • Ice Class A- Bullet Proof!! • Chart is March 1, 2007, essentially open water up through to River.
Season in Gulf • Use to start( meaning ice ) in late Dec early Jan now end of Jan until about end of March, first week of April. • Approx. 8 -10 weeks long. • Chart is March 15 • Global Warming has had an effect!!
Ice Routing • Stick to it , make sure Ice advisor does not go off on his own passage. • If you get stuck and Coast guard Ice Breaker finds that you are well outside the route trying to take shortcut, you will wait a long time. • Ice routing is generally good and is based on a lot of hard data-such as air reconnaissance and ice observations from ships transiting the Gulf region. • March 22, 2007 and open almost all the way.
Regulations governing the use of Ice Advisors in the Gulf Region • Voluntary JIG-Joint Industry Guild lines- Canadian Coast Guard. • Oil Tankers and Liquid Chemical carriers should carry Ice Advisor when zones are declared in force. • Voluntary for all other ships. • 99.9% of all tankers plying the Gulf have advisors onboard.
Defining the insured peril in a loss. • Whose fault Master or Pilot or percentage thereof. • Generally recovery not possible from pilotage organization due to pilot error, if for example contact with berth. • Best course of action is proactive approach • Loss prevention
Loss Prevention • Good Master/Pilot Exchange of info • Master asking pilot about all his intentions • Asking for hard copy ( Chartlet ) of passage planning • Where he is going to pick up tugs • Berth going to • Currents, shoals all the hazards etc.. ?
Loss Prevention continued • Pilot to inform Master of his passage planning- total plan • If he has a Chartlet prepared good ; if not go to chart table and show him passage plan. Master to insist on this. • Master must tell Pilot of any deficiencies or problems before they start in/out as it might be too late once they reach a point of no return- ie turning around or stopping.
Loss Prevention for UW • Underwriting issues such as ship management • Crewing agency • Do they hire good experienced Masters C/E, and C/O. • Your ship is only as good as the people that run it. • Like a computer- garbage in- garbage out resulting in losses. • Are the shipowners using Ice Pilots
The End • Thank you for your time and attention on this important matter.