Pilot - Master, Master - Pilot, who's in charge?

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Jeff Egan
20th December 2005, 19:51
As a Pilot for 26 years the relationship between Pilot and Master has always facinated me. When a Pilot is defined as being a person not of the crew who has conduct of a vessel, in a port where Pilotage is compulsory if the Master over rules the Pilot in any way the Pilot ceases to have the conduct of the ship and therefore ceases to be a Pilot as defined. The Master would then be in breach of the Port regulations which say he must have a Pilot onboard. The simple answer is that the Master is always in ultimate charge, but is he? What do members think?

david smith
20th December 2005, 20:25
I am suprised you don't know that the Master is always in charge of his vessel and the pilot gives advice having knowledge of the local area, tides etc. Exceptions are some American ports where the Pilot takes command. I believe Panama Canal was also.

Jeff Egan
20th December 2005, 20:46
As I said in the begining the simple answer is the Master but I don't think it's that simple in law, for a Pilot to be a Pilot he must have conduct of the ship if he is there simply to give advice for the Master, to take or not as he sees fit how can he have conduct of the ship? if he doesn't have conduct of the ship how can he be a pilot? In a port where it is compulsory for the Master to have a Pilot onboard the law in very complex as to who is actually in charge of the vessel.

James_C
20th December 2005, 21:36
Jeff,
You raise an interesting point. It's something that's always struck me as one of the greatest inadequacies of Maritime law.
If something goes wrong, the Master is very much in a 'damned if you do, damned if you don't situation'. He can't win. He'll either get hauled over the coals for not following the Pilots advice, or he'll get the same treatment for following it too well!
In this day and age where most coastal states are spending more and more time dedicated to inventing new laws and regulations to try and get Masters and Officers thrown in to jail for fun then there should be an IMO ruling on the matter.
If Coastal states/authorities make Pilotage mandatory, then, in my opinion, the Pilot/Authority should share a good deal/all of the blame if an incident occurs, as is the case in Panama.

mclean
20th December 2005, 22:04
Was it not always TMOPA, ie To Masters Orders and Pilots Advise? You,re point Jeff is very valid. Maybe a maritime lawyer can give the answer. I don,t think so. Regards Colin

thunderd
20th December 2005, 22:42
It's been a long time since I was at sea but I know if I was on the wheel or engine room telegraph when a pilot was on board, if the captain and pilot gave different orders I would have without question obeyed the captain.

There used to be a saying amongst seamen that in ship's articles the captain of a ship was responsible only to God, I don't know if that's true or not but I feel sure that the ultimate responsibility for what happened, regardless what went wrong, and whose fault it was, the captain wore the blame.

Jeff Egan
21st December 2005, 10:41
When I was at sea it was always TMO&PA in the bridge log book when entering moving or leaving port with a Pilot onboard but what about the law? In my Pilotage district once it became compulsory in 1988 any merchant ship over 50 metres in length had to have onboard a Pilot or a Pilot exemption certificate holder while moving, sailing or arriving. The exemption holder had to be a member of the ships crew but not necessarily the Master. In fact while in the pilotage district there was no particular requirement for the master to be onboard at all, but the Pilot or exemption holder was compulsory. If there is no Master onboard who do I advise?

EMMESSTEE
21st December 2005, 12:47
I always thought the expression was "Vessel to Master's Orders on Pilot's Advice" - "on" rather than "and"?

I believe the big difference from the "old days" today is the word "accountability" in the legal sense - pilots can no longer say "I was there to give the Master advice, he didn't have to take it"!!

Have a look at the following site (Maritime Safety Queensland) - quite an interesting pilotage incident out of Townsville on a passenger ship ......
www.msq.qld.gov.au/qt/MSQ.nsf/ReferenceLookup/m3_6_2004.pdf (application/pdf Object)

----------------------
Mike.

R58484956
21st December 2005, 13:32
According to the above website the Master ALWAYS has charge of the vessel.

Jeff Egan
21st December 2005, 14:11
What if there is no Master onboard? This has happened in my career on many, many occasions, probebly hundreds of times on various types of vessel. Does the Pilot suddenly become in charge, dont forget the by-laws make it compulsory for the Pilot to be in attendance but not the Master.

R58484956
21st December 2005, 14:21
With no master does the mate hold the same responsibility, unless of course he was't
there either, a vessel without a master how did they get away with it, does insurance come into the equation. You say hundreds of times with no master, why bother to have one and save his salary.

Jeff Egan
21st December 2005, 14:31
I am talking about ships moving within a compulsory pilotage district, of course a ship going to sea would need to have the required number of certificates onboard, but a ship moving from berth to berth or undocking from a drydock to the quay? I have moved plenty without a Master or Mate onboard even on more than one occasion with a Master onboard who didn't want his ship to be moved but I was under orders from the Port Authority to do it anyway and the Masters reluctantly went along with the move.

Jeff Egan
21st December 2005, 15:42
I'm sure you are correct Thunderd if the Master and Pilot give different orders the crew will certainly carry out the Masters orders and quite right too, but I think in law at that moment the Pilot ceases to be a Pilot as he no longer has the conduct of the vessel and whatever happens from then on is the sole responsibility of the master and if anything goes wrong the Pilot can use the defence of having had the conduct of the ship taken from him. As for the web site Emmesstee, having read it I agree the master can take over from the Pilot at any time as stated above but he puts himself in a very vunerable position by doing so, the pilot, in law ceases to be a Pilot and the master finds himself in a Compulsory Pilotage district with effectivly no Pilot. If I was the master of a ship in a compulsory district I would place myself in the hands of the pilot completely until such time the Pilot gave me grounds for great concern.

R58484956
21st December 2005, 15:44
Jeff that clears that one up anyway. You have been conspicious by your absence lately, early xmas break?

mclean
21st December 2005, 16:14
Following few lines from the Handy Book for Shipowners and Masters dated 1964.Quote:" A pilot employed voluntarily to navigate the ship is considered for that purpose the servant of the shipowner and the latter is therefore answerable for a collision caused by the pilot,s negligence. Prior to the Pilotage Act of 1913 a compulsory pilot was not considered a servant of the shipowner, and the only person answerable for a collision was the Pilot himself. The Pilotage Act 1913 abolished the defence of compulsory pilotage within the territorial waters of the UK and Isle of Man and makes the owner of the vessel answerable for the Pilot,s negligence. Whether a pilot is compulsory or not the master remains in command of the shipand,if necessary, he is not only entitled but bound to take the navigation out of the hands of the pilot." Unquote. I believe on this coast (West Coast Canada) that pilots give a bond and are not liable for neglect beyond the penalty of the bond. Regards Colin

Jeff Egan
21st December 2005, 16:16
Hi, R5******** No we were called away suddenly to look after our Grand kids in Kent while our daughter in law was in hospital all fine again now but we are a bit behind on Xmas shopping.

Jeff Egan
21st December 2005, 16:24
Colin, The 1913 Pilotage act is now abolished and was replaced by the (I think) 1987 Pilotage act. I think the if necessary bit is the important bit, as I said before a wise Master would wait and only take command of the situation if the Pilot gives him cause for concern. It would be unfair for a Master to interfere with the Pilot doing his job without good cause and then blame the Pilot if things go wrong.

mclean
21st December 2005, 16:47
Yes Jeff it would be a foolish master who would do so. I do recall on the West African Coast that the Old Man used to take over but thats a different matter! Regards Colin

Pilot mac
22nd December 2005, 11:41
Jeff,

a question that I've often considered is who is the pilot actually working for?
Is it the Master, the owner or the CHA? As most of us are now salaried to a CHA it becomes rather complicated!

regards
Dave

Jeff Egan
22nd December 2005, 11:53
Dave, I was always self employed, but understood that I was working for the shipowner while actually piloting a vessel, I suppose a Pilot employed by a CHA would be like sub contracted to the shipowner but I'm not sure of the actually relationship. What always fascinated me was the situation were a Master was compelled to take on a Pilot who is an employee of the Port authority and during the act of Pilotage damage was done to say a port Authority quay and the ship would be liable for the damage.

Pilot mac
22nd December 2005, 14:43
Jeff,
Hornets nest!

regards
Dave

lakercapt
22nd December 2005, 15:42
It really is a hornets nest as there are many ways to interpret the situation.
I don't know if its still thae case but in the River Mersey the pilot finished in the locks and if you wanted him to do more he passed another slip to be signed for extra payments.
Many pilots finish the compulsory pilotage and do tell the master that he is now lon his own.
I had a Thames river exemption and when I went there on a Canadian ship it did not apply but I never let on. Only when it came a question of tugs that I let it be known I was not havng tugs that the Sh88 hit the fan.
No matter where we went I as master always berthed and undocked the boat.
Who would know more about the handling than the Great lakes master who would on occassion berth and undock his vessel several dozen times a week and on occassion ten times in a day.
Pilots do a great service and with their local knowledge can protect the shipowner and master.
That is not the same as going to Calabar,Warri or Sapele if anyone who has been there knows

Jeff Egan
22nd December 2005, 16:24
All Masters of ships are individuals of course and there are those who prefer to berth their ships themselves but it is my experience that the vast majority of these are masters of small coasters usually with bow thrusts or the masters of passenger ships with bow and quite often stern thrusts with twin screw. Not many Masters I have come across would berth a large bulk carrier or tanker with single screw or take on the task of berthing or undocking a large dead ship. A pilot does not have the luxury of repeatedly handling the same ship over and over and must do whatever comes along next.

PJW
22nd December 2005, 21:33
In my experience when it goes horribly wrong , its the Master that takes the blame and possibly more importantly, the cost and not the Pilot (although the Pilot my get his wrist slapped). This would therefore suggest that the Master is in ultimate charge.
The Port Marine Safety Code, whilst putting more demands on the Competent Harbour Authority and its licenced Pilots, does not change the fact that any cost end up with the ship and therefore the Master.

Doxfordman
22nd December 2005, 22:34
This is an extremely interesting topic. In my experience, my previous life in coastal type ships, the pilot would be taken, complusory or otherwise for local knowledge of the area, port etc. On one occasion I happened to be on board one of our vessels whilst berthing. The pilot had the "con', the master advised the pilot to slow down as he judged the approach speed towards the berth to be too fast. The pilot ignored the masters comments and to cut a long story short we collided with the berth causing expensive damage to the ship and to the berth. Who paid for the repairs??? The shipowner paid, via insurance, cash and long drawn out legal proceedings. A counter claim was made against the pilots and got thrown out as the judge decreed that the master should have regained control, he, the master, having ultimate control over the vessel. Pilots got off scot free.
Interesting???

Derek Roger
22nd December 2005, 23:58
Pilots are taken for local knowledge of the waters ;tides ;markers ; radar immages; currents ; reefs ( as in Barrier Reef Pilots { who in their right mind would question their local knowledge })
The Master has the knowledge of how the ship handles under different circumstances and is ultimatley responsible for the saftey of the ship and crew including speed and stopping distances .
It is the Masters Duty and Right to give any orders he deems necessary to preserve the saftey of the ship . Crew are all obliged by law to obey the Captains commands ; there is no obligation I have ever heard of where the crew could be commanded or expected to be ordered by the Pilot .

Derek

Jeff Egan
23rd December 2005, 11:45
PJW one point you mentioned was ports licencing Pilots, I can only speak for the port I worked in, but up till 1988 I was a licenced Pilot the licencing Authority was the Tyne Pilotage Authority, in 1988 Pilot Authorities in the UK were abolished and ports were made to take on the responsibility for pilotage. Now after 13 years as a licenced pilot my licence was replaced by a Authorisation and I spent the next 13 years as an Authorised Pilot. Why? I'm not sure. During the whole of this time I was self employed, up till 1988 the Tyne was a none-compulsory port except for vessels carrying passengers and the master who hired me could do pretty much as he liked with regard to my "Advice". I have stated before that I my opinion no member of a ships crew would ignore the master and follow orders from a pilot and that is right and proper. Now in 1988 my CHA decided to make pilotage compulsory for all vessels over 50 metres in length. What I was trying to establish with this thread was the position of the Master and Pilot in this compulsory situation. The Pilot boards the vessel and in most cases assumes command, not in law but in practice. I have never given helm or engine commands in the terms of "Captain I advise you to order your helmsman to put the wheel 10 degrees to starboard" I would simply say Starboard 10 and expect the helm to be instantly put to starboard 10, if the Master told the helmsman not to follow my orders, I cease being a pilot in law as would not have the conduct of the ship. Once we enter the compulsory pilotage district the master cannot proceed without a Pilot onboard, if I "In law" have ceased being a pilot the Master is in breach of the port by-laws. In law if the Master and his crew don't follow my instructions to the letter he is putting himself in a very vunerable position, if something goes wrong.
As I stated before if I was the Master of a ship I would think twice before interferring with the Pilots orders or advice or whatever until the pilot gave me grounds for great concern.

paul0510
23rd December 2005, 12:36
Hi, Gents. Is this a private thread or can anyone join in?!!

Not that I can speak from experience as a pilot but at some stage did have a yearning to become one. I found it always very interesting during pilotage to exchange experiences and yarns of which the majority of pilots had plenty. This chit-chat on the bridge was quite in order and enlightening provided I, as watchkeeping Mate, was not expected, for example, to steer at the same time which on large deep-sea vessels was generally not the case anyway.

However, 25 years ago, as Mate of a German 999grt vessel I was alone with the Kiel pilot on the bridge (Master & I doing 6 hours about) during our weekly, up to 12-hour, Kiel Canal transit running pulp from Kotka to the Medway. After a few weeks on runs like these, one tends to get tired, concentration saps to a low. And when this pilot boasted a dire case of verbal diarrhoea in a harsh northern dialect (which causes us ‚Bavarians’ to cringe) at dawn in a busy canal, I just closed shop and concentrated on the job in hand, steering. ’Cos this bloke hadn’t brought a helmsman with him. Probably because nobody wanted the job for this particular ship was known in the Canal for being a sod to steer. With the bridge being practically on top of the foc’sle you had no idea what the back end was doing (or where it was going!) without constantly having a shufty over your shoulder. (She was one of the ugliest beasts I’d ever clapped eyes on with a single hold almost the length of a soccer pitch and half as wide with a mighty loading ramp right aft.)

So to cut a long story short, I must have overheard the pilot in one of the left-hand bends suggesting from his position on the bridge wing that I was getting too near the right bank to make the turn safely. And anybody who has heard of and/or experienced the dreaded ‚canal effect’ will know what came next!

Anyway, I got her nose out of the bushes with a tad too much astern power and almost ended up with the arße on the opposite bank…what a game. Thank God there was no east-bound traffic at the time.

All this time, during which I was running from the helm to the telegraph and back, the pilot just stood rooted to the spot and didn’t offer a bit of help (shall I take the helm, swing the telegraph) which sort of signalled to me that either he did not want to get too involved as I was ’in charge’ or his rule-book prevented him from becoming ’hands-on’.

N.B. at least he kept quiet for the remainder of my watch!!!

So, Jeff & Co., on the occasions when you felt the situation was going boobs-up, did you interfere with the running of the bridge or was/is that strictly taboo?

Jeff Egan
23rd December 2005, 13:24
My CHA would not officially allow me or the Master to take the wheel of a vessel entering or leaving the Tyne, a ship had to have an independant helmsman. In practice I took the wheel on most coasters and most often there would be only the Master and Myself on the bridge. We used to get a lot of small (Under 100 metre) ships with bow thrusts on many occasion the old man would stand back and let the Pilot berth the ship the pilot in full control of Bow thrust, Helm and Engine control. This would be normally done from a comfy chair on the bridge, a lot of these ships were fitted with large wing mirrors (Like on a car) to help when berthing or going through locks. If the CHA found out we would have been in trouble, but these ships were very handy and could in most conditions go side ways. I always went onboard ships assuming that I would have full control but some Masters like to do thier bit and for the most part we got along just fine, if a Master had a more hands on approach I would establish if he or I was berthing the ship as too many cooks can spoil the broth. This was only in the case of small coasters very few Masters of large ships I my experience were keen to berth their ship.

Tony Crompton
23rd December 2005, 14:13
Jeff, this topic was discussed and argued about long before you and I were Pilots and never was a satisfactory answer found.

Just be thankful that we are now retired and let others worry about it. One
thing for sure is that it is'nt going to find a solution here however many messages are posted in this thread!!!!

Regards, Tony C

Jeff Egan
23rd December 2005, 14:44
You are right Tony, I don't even think the courts can sort it out. But it always makes for a good discussion. By the way when your CHA took over from your Pilotage authority was your Licence replaced by an Authorisation.

Tony Crompton
23rd December 2005, 15:18
Yes it was Jeff.

My Pilots licence, a stiff backed gold lettered document just like our tickets
was replaced with a typewritten authorisation on a single piece of paper.

Before I was licensed to Pilot ships, afterwards I was authorised to Pilot ships. Not really any difference!!
-----------------
Tony C

Jeff Egan
23rd December 2005, 15:38
Yes a sign of the times I suppose, my licence was quite ornate with a seal my authorisaion was a small plastic thing with my picture on it, the sort of thing you could pin to your coat.

Hugh Ferguson
18th October 2007, 19:39
There is no doubt that the master's situation in these matters is invidious to say the least. Court ruling after court ruling has time and time again decreed that a master is ill advised to intervene unless he can be sure that the pilot has been taken ill, or is drunk, or is in some way incapacitated.
In my 26 years piloting service I was involved in one serious collision (which could easily have involved loss of life) and a grounding on a falling tide, which could have even involved the loss of the ship. The worst consequences of both of these accidents did not, thankfully, occur.
In neither of these misfortunes did either master (one British, and the other Swedish) countermand my orders or make intervention in any way whatsoever. You could not have a clearer indication of the pressures on a ship's master, to avoid what must be one of the most taxing decisions he may ever be called upon to make.
It is not correct to say that pilots go unpunished. Early in my career I was once suspended for a week for failing to move within ten miles of Dover, when it had been required by Trinity House bye law to do so!

Bill Davies
18th October 2007, 20:24
Questioned a young Mississippi Pilot back in the late 70s which resulted in him vacating the Bridge and left me to my own means. Anchored at Belle Chase and after much telephoning agent advised that I has been unlucky in choosing the wrong Pilot who was the son of the Chief Pilot. No Pilot would be available to take us to Destrehan for another several hours and that was subject to a written apology to the Pilot Authority. This was agreed ( pressures from Frisco HO) and the Pilot boarded after five hours. The same one!!!
Managed a very heavy landing at Destrehan (not his fault of course) but on leaving the Bridge enquired did I have anything for him.

pete
18th October 2007, 20:37
I don't know about anybody else but we were instructed to write proceeding TPA&MO in the Movement Book. (To Masters ORDERS and Pilots ADVICE). apart from the Panama Canal of course where the Pilot did indeed take over the vessel. My twopence worth.............cheers.............pete

Bill Davies
18th October 2007, 20:52
I don't know about anybody else but we were instructed to write proceeding TPA&MO in the Movement Book. (To Masters ORDERS and Pilots ADVICE). apart from the Panama Canal of course where the Pilot did indeed take over the vessel. My twopence worth.............cheers.............pete

Pete,
That is interesting as it is the first time I have seen this entry written as you have . I always used to enter CVTMO & PA in the Bell and Log Book.
Same thing but I thought the CVTMO & PA was universal.

Any other variations on the same theme or is this a BF thing. (and some BF guy is going say different)

Duncan112
18th October 2007, 21:19
Only a small point but three companies I served with (Bank Line, P&OCL and China Navigation) all stated in their company rule books that whilst the pilot could, if the Master deemed it expedient, give helm orders, engine orders were to be given by the Master or Company Officer.

Duncan

James_C
23rd October 2007, 15:07
Bill,
The version I was brought up on in BP was simply "TMO & PA", this was of course written in the 3 column course section (Gyro/Magnetic/True).
Variations on a theme.

alastairjs
23rd October 2007, 15:23
As a new apprentice in BP in 1962 I was taught to write "TPA & MO" in the bridge movement book and the same entry was transferred to the Log Book. Looks like some one switched the letters round by the time Jim came along but the meaning is unaltered.
Regards,
Alastair

johnalderman
23rd October 2007, 15:30
I always knew this as TMO & PA but in 99% of cases the pilot gave helm and engine orders, of course the master could if he saw fit countermand the pilots orders.

Bill Davies
23rd October 2007, 15:37
So the CVTMO & PA is not as universal as I thought. Interesting to see if any BF men can contribute.

Johnalderman,
I would say that in all cases where a Pilot is taken he will invariably give the orders. However, in my time in command whenever a Pilot gave an order 'helm or engine movement' the helmsman and officer at the telegraph all seeked 'eye contact and approval' with me before executing the pilots request.

lakercapt
23rd October 2007, 15:39
Bridge movement books were things I remember from sailing deep sea and all engine mvements ,first line ashore etc entered. Great when you had the manpower for those frivolities.
When sailing on the "lakes" these were unknown.
During a transit of the Welland Canal we had a party of the companies guests for lunch and a "cruise down the canal.
Came up to the pilothouse and were full of questions, just what you need when approaching a lock and standing in the wheelsmans line of sight.
However had to be polite!
When secured in the lock the same gentleman ask me how many people were employed in doing the canal transit.
Eight I replied
Mate and deckhand for'd
Mate and deckhand aft
Engineer and oiler in engineroom
Captain and wheelsman in the pilothouse.
How many crew are on board was the next question.
24 was my reply.
Why do you need so many was the next question.
By now we were ready to depart the lock and had enough answering stupid questions.
My reply"Do you think I do the bloody cooking as well"
No more stupid questions from him.

That little aside was just to show that all those things we thought so important were not really so, Had we had a person whose primary purpose was to enter in a "Bell" book movements etc it would have been a tome after one transit and really for no apparent purpose.

Bill

P.S. this was not a small ship but a full sized lake boat

K urgess
23rd October 2007, 16:53
I used to hope that we didn't have a full house of cadets because that meant that I got to do the movement book.
Always made me feel like part of the team instead of just the sparkie and gave me a legitimate reason for hanging around on the bridge at interesting times.
Learn a lot just standing and watching.

Hugh Ferguson
23rd October 2007, 22:59
So the CVTMO & PA is not as universal as I thought. Interesting to see if any BF men can contribute.

Johnalderman,
I would say that in all cases where a Pilot is taken he will invariably give the orders. However, in my time in command whenever a Pilot gave an order 'helm or engine movement' the helmsman and officer at the telegraph all seeked 'eye contact and approval' with me before executing the pilots request.

There must be an awful lot of people who believe ships' masters are supermen, and can keep the bridge hour after hour and never need to rest, let alone sleep. On the long drag from Dungeness to Gravesend (100 miles up around the Black Deep, if I remember rightly) the master invariably took an opportunity to get his head down, sometimes for the passage as far as the approaches to the oil jetties, or Gravesend.
I once recall having a problem with a doped helmsman (worse than alchohol) in the middle of a passage through the Downs. The master was fast asleep in his room and I was left steering the ship myself, on a wheel well set back from the wheelhouse windows, whilst the 3rd mate was getting him up!
I'm sure that if I had ever thought to keep a record of the hours the master had kept the bridge when I was present, they would amount to a very small proportion of the hours I had spent conning his ship.
Many masters, in my experience, had had more than enough getting their ship to Dungeness. I'm sure they also had in mind (especially in passenger ships) that the planned daylight arrival foretold a pretty hectic day. The pilot coming aboard was a source of huge relief to them.

RGascoyne
23rd October 2007, 23:59
I wrote this in my account of life with UCL, of course tales from those on the bridge: on the "Edinburgh Castle" previously we were entering Cape Town with strong winds blowing across the harbour entrance. To prevent us hitting anything because of the cross winds and not wanting to stay out in Table Bay till the winds abated, it was decided to make a run into the basin at greater than normal speed and then apply all the brakes. We dashed in at a slight angle as the port was not too wide and the pilot ordered both engines full astern as soon as he could and asked to drop the port anchor as a final measure. The Commodore spoke quietly and suggested we drop both anchors, immediately. We did and pulled up eventually about ten feet from the wall of the inside edge of the docks!

This was an illustration of pilot-master roles, as I later recounted how we ran aground on another UCL Liner in Flushing!

Bill Davies
24th October 2007, 00:03
There must be an awful lot of people who believe ships' masters are supermen, and can keep the bridge hour after hour and never need to rest, let alone sleep. On the long drag from Dungeness to Gravesend (100 miles up around the Black Deep, if I remember rightly) the master invariably took an opportunity to get his head down, sometimes for the passage as far as the approaches to the oil jetties, or Gravesend.
I once recall having a problem with a doped helmsman (worse than alchohol) in the middle of a passage through the Downs. The master was fast asleep in his room and I was left steering the ship myself, on a wheel well set back from the wheelhouse windows, whilst the 3rd mate was getting him up!
I'm sure that if I had ever thought to keep a record of the hours the master had kept the bridge when I was present, they would amount to a very small proportion of the hours I had spent conning his ship.
Many masters, in my experience, had had more than enough getting their ship to Dungeness. I'm sure they also had in mind (especially in passenger ships) that the planned daylight arrival foretold a pretty hectic day. The pilot coming aboard was a source of huge relief to them.

Hugh,
In the ideal world that is fine.
I have experienced Hutchinson /Hammond Pilots boarding off Brixham with the smell of alcohol on them and on a few occasions under the influence.
We all have stories to tell.

benjidog
24th October 2007, 00:41
Hugh,
In the ideal world that is fine.
I have experienced Hutchinson /Hammond Pilots boarding off Brixham with the smell of alcohol on them and on a few occasions under the influence.
We all have stories to tell.

Bill,

That is a very serious accusation you are making and I presume you would have refused to dealt with a drunken pilot and that you would have made a formal complaint at the time. I wonder what the outcome of the complaint was?

Unfortunately without details it is impossible for anyone to argue with you on this point; it is foolhardy in the extreme for any pilot to behave as you describe.

Brian

tacho
24th October 2007, 09:11
have experienced Hutchinson /Hammond Pilots boarding off Brixham with the smell of alcohol on them and on a few occasions under the influence.
We all have stories to tell.

Well there are drunk drivers and drunk aviators and drunk everything else.
In fact drink can be a bit of a problem one way and another.

It's not surprising if in the course of a long career that Bill ran across a drunken pilot - these people must be as fallible as the rest of humanity.

Hugh Ferguson
24th October 2007, 10:31
Well there are drunk drivers and drunk aviators and drunk everything else.
In fact drink can be a bit of a problem one way and another.

It's not surprising if in the course of a long career that Bill ran across a drunken pilot - these people must be as fallible as the rest of humanity.

True enough! One of my contemporaries, under the influence, was actually prevented by a colleague from boarding a tanker and as a consequence, lost his licence. That was the end of his piloting career. No de-toxing in those days, and no second chance: a married man with family and like a bolt from the blue, no job, no income.
Pilots don't get punished! Tell that to the marines!

willincity
24th October 2007, 14:19
I sailed Master for over 22 years and for 6 of them I was in a very handy 12000 ton Norwegian chemical tanker drawing about 8 to 9 mts trading predominately in NW Europe into the Baltic over the top or through Kiel and when fortunate there was an occasional trip down to the Mediterranean.
It was basically short sea trading which meant hours at sea rather than days along with many port visits and a good number of Pilots.
In Rotterdam and Antwerp it was no uncommon to work off 5 or 6 berths over a 48 hour period working parcels from both jetty and STS, (but that’s for another thread) very hectic work for a crew of 15.
Obviously shifting ship and ship handling became just another everyday task in an already very busy day to day schedule. What ever the weather conditions the movement went ahead and if the wind was too strong a tug was called in to assist. That said never once did complacency set in and I hasten to add and each shift was done with due diligence and professionalism by all onboard staff.
In the Port of Rotterdam the pilot’s were well known to us and with all due respect we as Master just got on with the job and left the Pilot to work the VHF and make the coffee.

On larger tonnage where pilot’s were compulsory I always made them feel welcome and adhered to pilot protocol but (including the USA and Houston in particular) left them in no doubt that I will be responsible for the berthing and all manoeuvring leading up to docking the v/l but requested them to work the VHF and if need be the communication with tugs
I was never challenged (exception was Panama Canal) and nor did I go below to get my “head down” as there was always plenty of paper work to keep me occupied on the bridge during the pilotage passage.
As an aside without turning this post into a marathon I sat the Pilot Exemption examination for Saltend, Tees, Thames, Fawley and Grangemouth once I had met the prerequisite for each port.
What was absolutely staggering to the point of amazement was how the degree of difficulty for each of the above pilot authorities varied.

Hugh Ferguson
25th October 2007, 17:27
I sailed Master for over 22 years and for 6 of them I was in a very handy 12000 ton Norwegian chemical tanker drawing about 8 to 9 mts trading predominately in NW Europe into the Baltic over the top or through Kiel and when fortunate there was an occasional trip down to the Mediterranean.
It was basically short sea trading which meant hours at sea rather than days along with many port visits and a good number of Pilots.
In Rotterdam and Antwerp it was no uncommon to work off 5 or 6 berths over a 48 hour period working parcels from both jetty and STS, (but that’s for another thread) very hectic work for a crew of 15.
Obviously shifting ship and ship handling became just another everyday task in an already very busy day to day schedule. What ever the weather conditions the movement went ahead and if the wind was too strong a tug was called in to assist. That said never once did complacency set in and I hasten to add and each shift was done with due diligence and professionalism by all onboard staff.
In the Port of Rotterdam the pilot’s were well known to us and with all due respect we as Master just got on with the job and left the Pilot to work the VHF and make the coffee.

On larger tonnage where pilot’s were compulsory I always made them feel welcome and adhered to pilot protocol but (including the USA and Houston in particular) left them in no doubt that I will be responsible for the berthing and all manoeuvring leading up to docking the v/l but requested them to work the VHF and if need be the communication with tugs
I was never challenged (exception was Panama Canal) and nor did I go below to get my “head down” as there was always plenty of paper work to keep me occupied on the bridge during the pilotage passage.
As an aside without turning this post into a marathon I sat the Pilot Exemption examination for Saltend, Tees, Thames, Fawley and Grangemouth once I had met the prerequisite for each port.
What was absolutely staggering to the point of amazement was how the degree of difficulty for each of the above pilot authorities varied.

I've been trying to get my head 'round a vision of a captain, who despite not having got his "head down" during the last 24 hrs., passing the time getting on with a bit of paper-work on the chart table, me as pilot making the coffee and the ship, apparently, finding its own way up the estuary.
Well, that contribution has at the very least, thrown some light on the reason why the odd such ship, from time to time, steams up on the rocks down here in the South West of England: the watch-keeper has been taking the opportunity for a quick nap-he sure needs it!

Tony Crompton
25th October 2007, 18:59
.
As an aside without turning this post into a marathon I sat the Pilot Exemption examination for Saltend, Tees, Thames, Fawley and Grangemouth once I had met the prerequisite for each port.
.

Which ships did you hold a PEC for in the Tees?

Regards,

Tony Crompton

NZSCOTTY
25th October 2007, 23:45
I think one has got to get this pilot/master relationship into perspective. I am fortunate (?) to be both. I am master of a ferry and do some relief port pilotage and pilotage of cruise vessels in our Fiordland Sounds. When I for example have a pilot when we go to drydock at a port which I am not exempt I will do the berthing myself. I know my ship and how she handles and do not require the tug(s) offered to me by the pilot.

Similarly on a large cruise vessel in Milford Sound as pilot, when we are turning around at the head of the Fiord the Master may wish to do the maneouver. He knows his ship and how he wishes to use his available engine power etc. Most cruise ship masters will berth their own ships after the pilot uses his local knowledge to bring them into port.

However when I am doing harbour pilotage with a cargo ship where the master may never have handled the vessel I will take the con for the pilotage and berthing and using tugs as necessary. Almost all masters are happy with this, however one must always remember that the master is ultimately responsible for his vessel as many incidents in the past have proved.

tacho
26th October 2007, 10:23
I suppose the relationship between master and pilot is necessarily ambiguous or is that too profound?

Hugh Ferguson
26th October 2007, 13:14
I suppose the relationship between master and pilot is necessarily ambiguous or is that too profound?

I think this is as good a summary of the relationship as it is possible to imagine. There's nothing "cut and dried" about it. It is a complex relationship between two seamen who have differing mind-sets. Maybe the following is a reasonable example of how they work.
Sometime in Nov.1973 I boarded my very first VLCC which was the British Navigator, anchored just to the east of the Tongue L/V. On getting underway to head for the Black Deep channel en route to I.o.G., I gave the order, "hard a port & half ahead". The captain immediately commented that she turned better to starboard! (Can anyone explain why a single screw ship turns better, going to starboard)?
I hadn't given that a thought. My instinct, as a pilot, was to make the turn away from the sand using the open sea in order to get some headway on the ship. So, there you have it in a nutshell. The captain's mind-set was fixed on the manoeuvering characteristics of his ship, mine on the locality we were in. We were operating on different wave lengths.
I must admit, these two "threads, Pilot Error and Pilot/Master" have been quite a surprise to me. I had never had an inkling that some masters harboured a smouldering resentment towards that upstart who came aboard THEIR ship and tried to give the impression that it was they who were now in command, and were going to show that captain HOW to handle his ship.
I don't honestly believe there were many captains like that.

johnalderman
26th October 2007, 13:36
Well said Hugh, its about time threads about "Pilot assisted groundings" and such like were shown the door.

Bill Davies
27th October 2007, 09:51
Find difficulty in understanding why any topic is 'out of bounds' just because it is distasteful to some. The fact of the matter is it happens in shipping so why not talk about it and discuss it in a civil/impersonal manner. When I first brought the matter up I was merely addressing an article in the 'Irish Times' which lead me to the MCIB website. I would have thought that was worthy of some discussion.

Brgds

Bill

gdynia
27th October 2007, 09:56
I agree Bill any topic is worthy of some discussion but you tend to **** everything down if it does not meet your approval or your vast expertise on everything nautical

johnalderman
27th October 2007, 10:10
Bill in my opinion civil and impersonal is fine but sniping goes too far.

Bill Davies
27th October 2007, 11:27
Jack,
Quite agree!! nobody should engage in 'sniping'

K urgess
27th October 2007, 11:33
There's a vast difference between "sniping" and stating the truth.

Bill Davies
27th October 2007, 11:41
Thanks for that Kris. Thats exactly what I mean't but was not as eloquent as you.

K urgess
27th October 2007, 11:44
Depends on which way you read my post, Bill.

Bill Davies
27th October 2007, 12:20
Do any of the Pilots have a view on Pilotage Exemption Certificates(PECs).
Those of you I have spoken to at NI gatherings and similar do not seem to favour them whilst the Masters (all from the ferry fraternity) are in favour.
An annex to this would be the safety aspect of say a coastal vessel carrying grain into Manchester where the Master is expected to obtain a PEC after the requisite number of visits.
I am not in favour of PECs and I am not happy about coastal vessels (no experience I hasten to add smallest command Panamax) doing 6 on 6 off and then the prospect of a canal transit (I'm too old for that)

Hugh Ferguson
27th October 2007, 13:57
www.rakaia.co.uk/downloads/collision.pdfDo any of the Pilots have a view on Pilotage Exemption Certificates(PECs).
Those of you I have spoken to at NI gatherings and similar do not seem to favour them whilst the Masters (all from the ferry fraternity) are in favour.
An annex to this would be the safety aspect of say a coastal vessel carrying grain into Manchester where the Master is expected to obtain a PEC after the requisite number of visits.
I am not in favour of PECs and I am not happy about coastal vessels (no experience I hasten to add smallest command Panamax) doing 6 on 6 off and then the prospect of a canal transit (I'm too old for that)

Yes, Bill, I do. Go to this site to see what one of them did to the B.I. ship CHANTALA.

pilot
27th October 2007, 14:19
"An annex to this would be the safety aspect of say a coastal vessel carrying grain into Manchester where the Master is expected to obtain a PEC after the requisite number of visits."

Who's expecting this?

I would anticipate a PEC to take a Pilot if he considered himself unable to safely carry out his pilotage due fatigue, or any reason.

Holding a PEC does not prohibit the PEC holder from taking a Pilot.

Rgds.

Tony Crompton
27th October 2007, 14:20
What we used to find most annoying was PEC holders who turned up in poor visibility or a lot of wind and then, surprise surprise, wanted a Pilot!!

Tony Crompton

Bill Davies
27th October 2007, 17:58
"

Who's expecting this?

Rgds.

Pilot,

I understand this to be common (indeed expected) in one of our coastal shipping companies. This company has for years been running Maize into Cerestar Manchester and usually EMR scrap out of Irlam Park Wharf.
Forget their name (green Hull).

Slainte

Bill

Hugh Ferguson
1st November 2007, 12:59
No response, as yet, to my query as to why a single screw, right-handed propellor ship, turns better to starboard going ahead when one would imagine it to be the exact opposite of that.
No question about the effect transverse thrust has, on the same ship, when going astern-she "cuts" to starboard. That doesn't always happen! I recall, what was probably one of my best bits of luck piloting, when an old steam turbine Norwegian tanker "cut" to port on full astern. We had just come through the N.Edinburgh Channel when the stearing gear packed up. Only thing to do was full astern and stand-bye the anchors. After what seemed an eternity the rev. indicator began to display some revolutions in the right direction and, would you believe, she "cut" to port which gave us the whole width of the buoyed channel to bring her up to just outside of the line of port hand bouys, and to get the anchor down.
Why that should happen I have no idea. Does anyone have any theories on these ideosyncrasies?

Bill Davies
1st November 2007, 18:59
Hugh,

Have you considered Bank effect, shallow water effect etc. I think the joys of ship handling is never to assume.

Brgds

Bill

Orcadian
1st November 2007, 19:13
With Controlable pitch props I often felt it depended on the way the ship happened to be swinging at the time you went astern on the engines. Bow swinging to port when you went astern on the engines it would keep going that way and vice versa. Not to be depended on though

Hugh Ferguson
1st November 2007, 19:35
Hugh,

Have you considered Bank effect, shallow water effect etc. I think the joys of ship handling is never to assume.

Brgds

Bill
Yes, Bill, I think that must be on the right tack. On that occasion the ship wasn't in shallow water but the bank was fairly close to starboard. But then again, one is always close to some bank or other when manoeuvering in the Thames estuary. Possibly, speed on this occasion, was instrumental-not that that old ship had much of that. But it's not all that often that one goes from full ahead to a double ring full astern! (Interesting that a few years prior to this, when I piloted in Aden, when going aboard the Blue Funnel H & P class steam turbine ships, one never failed to get a warning from the master that the astern movement in his ship was quick and powerful-it sure was and very nice to have!)

pete
1st November 2007, 21:19
Having turned ships "Short Round" in very resticted water I can personally say that when going astern in a right handed prop ship always caused the ships bow to swing to Starboard. My two pennurth...............pete

Tony Crompton
2nd November 2007, 01:02
I have found that most ships when going astern tend to put their sterns up into the wind.

One thing you must never assume is that the ship will do what you expect or want !!

---------------------------------
Tony Crompton

lakercapt
2nd November 2007, 01:24
Why that should happen I have no idea. Does anyone have any theories on these ideosyncrasies?
You can have two types of luck. Good luck or none at all. "Somebody" was looking after you.
Bill

Dave Edge
2nd November 2007, 08:28
Concerning vessels having controllable pitch propellers, may I offer Edge's theory on handling vessels with CPP's which reads, "When applying astern pitch to a vessel having a controllable pitch propeller the vessel will react in such a manner as to most embarrass the intended manoeuvre."
Incidentally NZSCOTTY, can't imagine who you might be!

NZSCOTTY
2nd November 2007, 09:28
Welcome back Dave, hope your UK visit went well. At least you read my comments to thread most seem to go to their respective corners and jealously protect their position!

Derek Roger
3rd November 2007, 02:31
This thread goes on "Ad Nosium " ( spelling )
With no disrespect to Masters and Pilots I found in my latter years at sea with UMS vessels with bridge control and CP props ; thrusters etc. that the best place to be during docking and stand byes for me as Chief Eng was on the bridge with the 2nd in the control room , That way things did not get out of hand .

Pilots in particular seemed to get " worried " when docking if they did not have a telegraph.
The Masters were somewhat used to the system ; the pilots were not !

I trust this will be taken in the spirit it is given ( All the Masters I sailed with were happy to have me on the Bridge at that time 1970s)

Today I am sure is very different with the advances in technology and the better understanding of the control systems of the Masters and Pilots.


Regards Derek

demodocus
3rd November 2007, 06:19
Pilots in particular seemed to get " worried " when docking if they did not have a telegraph.
The Masters were somewhat used to the system.

On the odd occasion when I had to take a pilot in bridge controlled ships I made a point of asking the pilot if there were any lumps between where we were and the berth. If he said yes then I let him guide me, if he said no then I offered him a cup of tea and put the vessel alongside while he enjoyed his Earl Grey.

Cap'n Pete
4th November 2007, 17:15
Insurance claims resulting from pilot negligence now run into hundreds of millions of dollars a year and every penny of it is paid for by the shipowner and his P&I Club. However, it is wrong to assume the pilots get off scot free. There has been a number of cases recently where pilots have been quite rightly prosecuted for criminal negligence. Where such negligence can be shown, there is every reason to assume that the owners will be able to sue the pilot authority to recover costs.
It is all very well to say that the master is always in charge and responsible for the navigation of his ship. However, there is only one master on a ship, while some pilotages involve up to 3 pilots at a time, with their being relieved on a regular basis as the pilotage proceeds. One pilotage can therefore, employ up to 9 pilots (Panama or Suez Canal for instance). There is also the language problem as the pilots speak to each other and the tugs; the master has very little idea sometimes what is going on and if he keeps interupting the pilot to demand to know what's going on, he will disrupt the operation.
For every pilot in employment, there are at least 20 people qualified and able to take his job. This is no longer the case at sea where experienced and qualified masters are becoming a very rare breed. The shipping industry should stop blaming masters for pilot errors and direct the blame onto whoever made the mistake - be it master or pilot.

Bill Davies
4th November 2007, 19:26
Probably the most concise and well written post addressing an issue which has historically been delicate/sensitive!

Hugh Ferguson
5th November 2007, 08:39
Agreed, Bill, but I would prefer to see, miscalculation, substituted for negligence. Hugh.

Tony Crompton
5th November 2007, 09:02
[QUOTE=
For every pilot in employment, there are at least 20 people qualified and able to take his job.
.[/QUOTE]

Which is why Pilotage Authoroties and CHAs require the "Judgement of Soloman" in deciding which of the 20 to accept for training.

Regards

Tony Crompton

johnalderman
5th November 2007, 10:41
In my experience most accidents occur due to engine failure or steering problems during pilotage, is it suggested that the Chief Engineer should be had for negligence in these cases? Another frequent cause is a sudden unpredictable change in weather conditions, maybe God himself could be brought to boot! I think we should stop pointing fingers and accept that in 99.9% of all cases each member of the team is trying to do his best for an efficient and trouble free passage despite the pressures put on at times by outside forces.

Cap'n Pete
5th November 2007, 11:46
Agreed, Bill, but I would prefer to see, miscalculation, substituted for negligence. Hugh.

No, I'm sorry but I prefer to keep to negligence. Miscalculation infers a genuine mistake while negligence infers that the pilot and/or master made an error of judgement which with his/their experience and knowledge should not have occurred. For instance, how often have you heard the pilot say "there's plenty of water captain" when the charted depth say's different. If the pilot knows for a fact that there is more water, then he's using his knowledge and experience. If he's taking a wild guess but makes the captain believe he know's what he is talking about, then that's negligence. In such an instance, why should the captain and the shipowner carry the can?

Cap'n Pete
5th November 2007, 11:58
In my experience most accidents occur due to engine failure or steering problems during pilotage, is it suggested that the Chief Engineer should be had for negligence in these cases? Another frequent cause is a sudden unpredictable change in weather conditions, maybe God himself could be brought to boot! I think we should stop pointing fingers and accept that in 99.9% of all cases each member of the team is trying to do his best for an efficient and trouble free passage despite the pressures put on at times by outside forces.

Any instance of engine failure and/or steering problems during pilotage is the fault of the master and ultimately the shipowner will have to pay. The chief engineer is (and here I mean no disrespect) subordinate to the captain. Did the captain make sure the chief had sufficent power on the board - did he take notice when the chief told him the lub oil pump was faulty - the list is endless but most mechanical faults during pilotage do not occur out of the blue but because there is a pre-existing fault in the system or the back-up systems are not ready.

The ultimate responsibility to commit to entering a port or pilot area rests with the master. If he thinks the weather conditions are unsuitable for his ship, then he should refuse to enter port. Sometimes this decision will be made for him by the pilots, but, if not, nobody is going to force him into undertaking a venture he thinks is detrimental to the safety of his ship.

As a master, I fully accept responsibility for my ship and the actions of those employed under my command, including the pilot. However, I do not accept responsibility for their criminal actions, including criminal negligence, be it the chief engineer pumping oil over the wall or a pilot who tells lies just so he can get home an hour earlier.

senior pilot
5th November 2007, 16:03
my father was a senior pilot in the royal dockyards & when he went onboard a ship in the port he was in charge as he had to direct up to three or more tugs to safely berth the ship alongside or take it in or out of the port, the captains hand over control to the pilot & its he who takes the blame for any mistakes alex

Hugh Ferguson
5th November 2007, 18:17
No, I'm sorry but I prefer to keep to negligence. Miscalculation infers a genuine mistake while negligence infers that the pilot and/or master made an error of judgement which with his/their experience and knowledge should not have occurred. For instance, how often have you heard the pilot say "there's plenty of water captain" when the charted depth say's different. If the pilot knows for a fact that there is more water, then he's using his knowledge and experience. If he's taking a wild guess but makes the captain believe he know's what he is talking about, then that's negligence. In such an instance, why should the captain and the shipowner carry the can?

I have never heard a pilot say any such thing, and as a pilot I most certainly never did myself! Negligence seems to me to be something verging on criminality-indeed, if a loss of life might be involved, then it certainly is!

johnalderman
6th November 2007, 09:16
To suggest a pilot would take risks with the safety of a ship to "Get home and hour earlier" is ridiculous in my opinion, ultimately being responsible for his actions to his CHA he would be putting his career in jeopardy. As for trying to kid the Master along that there is more water than the charts says, why would he? unless he was certain he was right, why would he deliberately put a ship ashore? what is there to gain for him? he certainly wont get home earlier stuck on a sand bar.

James_C
6th November 2007, 14:00
John,
I think you may perhaps be making the mistake of comparing British pilots who on the whole are very good, to those in other parts of the world which are, well....

pilot
6th November 2007, 15:30
Jim, Not quite a PC statement to make, do you mean British Ports? There are many nationalities working as Pilots in the U.K. these days.

Rgds.

James_C
6th November 2007, 16:15
Just because it isn't PC doesn't mean it isn't true, as many on here will testify.
In any event I was referring to those in British Ports.
(By the way, I deplore Political Correctness in its many forms)

Bill Davies
6th November 2007, 17:45
Just because it isn't PC doesn't mean it isn't true, as many on here will testify.
In any event I was referring to those in British Ports.
(By the way, I deplore Political Correctness in its many forms)

Isn't that the truth. Seems much dialogue nowadays is suppressed/restricted by those trying to be PC.

Bill

NZSCOTTY
6th November 2007, 18:20
To say Pilots in British Ports are better than others is not PC it is BR (Bloody Rediculous).

James_C
6th November 2007, 19:36
I'm not entirely sure why you've taken the hump here Scotty, as I think I've made myself quite clear with my original point "British pilots who on the whole are very good".
There's no statement there which says they are better than others, it says that one the whole they are very good.
However, I will expand and say that in a lot of other countries, the standards of Pilotage consistently leaves a lot to be desired. In the UK/Europe (and no doubt in the Colonies) there are regulatory and legal safeguards that are supposed to prevent that from happening - that is not the case everywhere.

NZSCOTTY
6th November 2007, 21:06
I have not taken the "Hump". I just think your statement is way out. By the way we are no longer the colonies out here.

I would suggest "on the whole" pilots are pretty good in most places with of course exceptions to the rule human nature being as it is.

As I have stated before in this thread I have a hand in both camps (Pilot and Master) so do not have a bias as does apear from some.

benjidog
6th November 2007, 22:34
I am utterly amazed that this thread started in December 2005 and the same things are still being said after nearly two years. I don't think anything new or the slightest bit informative has been added for over a year now.

Unfortunately there isn't a "yawning" smiley in the collection - this is the nearest I can get. (Night)

Brian

James_C
6th November 2007, 23:02
Brian,
If you find the thread that tedious do you really need to pass comment on that fact?

John Cassels
7th November 2007, 07:59
Brian,
If you find the thread that tedious do you really need to pass comment on that fact?

Quite agree and find it an excellent subject for discussion.

Cap'n Pete
7th November 2007, 09:23
my father was a senior pilot in the royal dockyards & when he went onboard a ship in the port he was in charge as he had to direct up to three or more tugs to safely berth the ship alongside or take it in or out of the port, the captains hand over control to the pilot & its he who takes the blame for any mistakes alex

I am not sure what happens in the Royal Navy, but the only pilotage I know where the pilot overides the master in authority is the Panama Canal. Even then, I have never made a transit (and I've made over 30 as master) where I was not required to sign a "release of indemnity" because the chocks were in the wrong place or some other BR reason. The prudent captain never "hands over control" to the pilot, but follows his advice with caution.

Cap'n Pete
7th November 2007, 09:37
I have never heard a pilot say any such thing, and as a pilot I most certainly never did myself! Negligence seems to me to be something verging on criminality-indeed, if a loss of life might be involved, then it certainly is!

I find it amazing that you never heard a pilot say there was more water than was charted, even if it was just to indicate the height of tide over datum. A couple of weeks ago, I made the passage through the Great Barrier Reef where the charted depths through the Prince of Wales channel are as little as 9.7 metres. However, with a maximum draft was 12.2 metres giving an underkeel clearance (according to the pilot) of 0.7 metres. My ship is 292m long and was at maximum draft after a 10 day passage burning 120 mt HFO a day and having to undertake a ballast exchange of over 10,000 mt (as required by the Australian government); a 0.7m underkeel clearance gives very little scope for error in calculated dreaft and you are entirely dependent on the pilot for his local experience and knowledge. A master relies on the pilot for his local knowledge - that's what he's employed for. However, it is the master who carried the can if he goes aground and causes a massive environmental disaster. My company has a min underkeel clearance of 1.5 metres, so what are you going to do when the pilot tells you that there is only 0.7 metres under the keel - turn round and go back to Singapore and tell them to discharge half the cargo?

I find with many experienced pilots that their "experience" is very limited, normally to one or two ports. Masters on ocean-going ships, however, will visit hundreds of different ports in a 40+ year period and experience all manner of different standards of pilotage, some good, some very good and some not so good.

For pilots who have not been overseas for the last 10 years, I would politely suggest they have very little idea how the system works these days. Many pilots have no sea-going experience whatsoever. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as many of these pilots are as good as, if not better at ship handling than some pilots with command experience. However, they do seem to think they are in charge and get quite upset when told otherwise. I had a pilot in the Houston Ship Canal a couple of months ago who was so busy on his mobile telephone that he forgot to start the swing into the cut. When I gave the order mystelf, he got most upset. I then shouted at him that if he tried using his mobile again while piloting my ship, I would report him to the USCG for incompetence, and use his mobile to make the call!

Sometimes these days, some pilots seem incapable of undertaking a pilotage without making and receiving calls on their mobile phones. When I questioned one recently in China if his call was really necessary, he told me he was asking for instructions from the senior pilot ashore. That is not uncommon in China where the pilots will not blow their nose without seeking advice from seniors ashore; however, the master only has access to the pilot and not to the regime ashore. What's he supposed to do? To say the pilot is in charge is just silly, if he's taking instructions from ashore.

Tony Crompton
7th November 2007, 13:51
Not sure which side of "The Discussion" the following relates to and excuse my typing for any errors but I quote from an article written in "The Nautical Magazine" of January 1874 which I have:-

" We look forward to the time when every master will be his own Pilot and will hold a licence or certificate that he is qualified to act as such. This change will not come about suddenly, but is nearer, since the Trinity Board have shown a strong disposition to get rid of the exclusiveness of a Pilots calling,and have legislated for the welfare of the Nautical community at large,rather than the interests of a comparatively small class of persons"

I am glad that the "sudden change" took over 93 years and I was able to enjoy my career as a Pilot starting in 1967 and indeed not much has changed now in the 133 years since the article was published!!
-------------------------------------

Tony Crompton

Bill Davies
7th November 2007, 18:40
Peter,
I was Master of a ULCC in 2004 visiting the port of Jebel Dhanna where I have been literally dozens of times. The two Egyptian Pilots boarded with several of the SBM team. Both were dressed in a manner which would not do justice to the Admiral of the Fleet with Masters braid in addition to an Arab Dhow and Stars (Seniority). The senior arrived on the bridge in the middle of a telcon to his wife (I assume his wife as he finished with habibi) in Cairo and terminated the conversation to exchange pleasantries. After many conversations with 'Jebel D' (the control) he attempted to initiate another call on his mobile just prior to No. 20 buoy (the turn) which I insisted he terminate. The Second Pilot made contact with someone with his mobile abeam the Port manifold on his way aft, following his inspection, to join his friend on the bridge. One had been Second Mate in AMPTC and the other Mate in KOTC. I do remember when that port has a bunch of British Pilots who were all excellent ship handlers in CBMs. Sadly, they have all retired. Maybe not PC but it is factual!

Bill Davies
7th November 2007, 21:56
Just a small note to explain above to our ship enthusiasts.
CBMs are Conventional Buoy Moorings where the vessel moors using her port & stbd anchors and makes fast aft to stern, quarter & beam buoys.The vessel on completion will have abt 8 shackles (P&S) and rope & wire mooring lines aft.
Those Pilots (the Brits in the 80s) - certainly were good ships handlers. By comparison mooring at an SBM (Single Buoy Mooring) as is the case now days is simple and requires little skill (bound to attract posts). However, these young men above (sorry Captains) made a real 'dogs dinner' of it.

Orbitaman
8th November 2007, 06:40
SBM (Single Buoy Mooring)

Technical point - SBM is the trade marked name of a Monaco based company. the correct term is SPM - Single Point Mooring.

Mooring up to an SPM can be very simple in many locations, but in others it can be a real pain in the backside, due to unpredictable winds and currents. In the bight of biafra it is often the case that the surface current, subssurface current at 10 metres and again at 20 metres are all in different directions at different rates, all of which effect the approaching tanker in different ways. Whilst I can accept that CBM mooring requires exceptional skill from the pilot, mooring to an SPM in certain circumstances also requires excellent ship handling skills and 'local' knowledge of the area. If mooring to an SPM is so easy, then why do ship Masters use pilots?

On another note, has anyone been on a vessel that has had to berth bow to stern on a turret moored FPSO? A very interesting mooring experience!

non descript
8th November 2007, 07:35
Orbitaman, Thank you for your well written and very useful addition to the thread, it is good to have the case put from someone with first hand knowledge and expereince, and in such a pleasant manner.

Bill Davies
8th November 2007, 08:19
SBM (Single Buoy Mooring)

Technical point - SBM is the trade marked name of a Monaco based company. the correct term is SPM - Single Point Mooring.



Yes, we all know that but a ball point will always be a 'Biro'.

One has little choice but to use a Pilot where the service is compulsory.

Orbitaman
8th November 2007, 08:35
Yes, we all know that but a ball point will always be a 'Biro'.

One has little choice but to use a Pilot where the service is compulsory.

If we all knew that, then why didn't you call it an SPM?

Perhaps the service is compulsory because the operation may not be as easy as it appears to the naked eye. After all, an SPM comes in at around $ 10m to build + all the ancillary equipment and installation costs. For someone to take one of these out of action will cost the owners $ 100's of millions in lost revenue, so it follows that they may want to 'insure' their asset by making sure that someone on the bridge of the approaching tanker is experienced in the mooring operation.

gdynia
8th November 2007, 08:40
Very good point Jerry as I was on a VLCC several years ago as Super Cargo where the Old Man would not wait for a Berthing Pilot deciding to do it himself. As far as I know the SPM is still inside Number 2 Centre Tank.

pilot
8th November 2007, 08:50
Orbitman,

Many thanks for the calm and logical responses to this thread.

I find the continued comments on how superior Brits. are an insult to several of the None British Pilots I work alongside. There are good and bad in all professions, trades and races.

Rgds.

gdynia
8th November 2007, 08:55
Orbitman,

Many thanks for the calm and logical responses to this thread.

I find the continued comments on how superior Brits. are an insult to several of the None British Pilots I work alongside. There are good and bad in all professions, trades and races.

Rgds.

Hear Hear(Thumb)

Bill Davies
8th November 2007, 09:05
We can talk about an incident in Zirku Island about 18 months ago!

pilot
8th November 2007, 09:11
Check out MAIB too?

Cap'n Pete
8th November 2007, 09:13
I hope none of my comments in this thread have been construed to infer that British pilots are better than others. In fact, my experience of over 40 years at sea, including 16 in command of ocean-going vessels, has led me to realise that the most important factor in a pilot's ability is his training and experience. For instance, Chinese pilots in Hong Kong would be included in my top-10 in terms of ability while Chinese pilots in Shekou and Yantain, just a couple of miles down the road are well down the list.

If I had to state who were the best, then I'd plumb for docking pilots in the USA who are all ex-tug boat skippers. Very few have any sea-going experience but they know their job inside out.The best pilot I have ever met was Capt. Kirk (no not the captain of the Enterprise) in Savannah, GA. Almost 70, he knows more about shiphandling than any man I've ever met. The fact that he's still working, proves he loves what he is doing and I hope he continues for many years to come.

The standard of pilot training around the world varies enormously, and I'm afraid you are able to make judgements on a pilot's potential ability depending on which port and/or country you visit. Unlike seafarers, there is no internationally accepted standard which pilots must attain and, in my view, this is a very disturbing factor.

Tony Crompton
8th November 2007, 09:22
For someone to take one of these out of action will cost the owners $ 100's of millions in lost revenue, so it follows that they may want to 'insure' their asset by making sure that someone on the bridge of the approaching tanker is experienced in the mooring operation.

A similar situation is where Jetty operators insist on tugs being used on ships at their jetties. Even on ships with powerful thrusters where tugs are really not needed and sometimes make the manoeuvre more difficult. Their "argument" is that if you are coming to our jetty then we want you to use tugs as an extra precaution as ships can break down!! (WE know that don't we Bill!!). If you do not want to use tugs then we will get a different ship to carry our cargo!!
We as Pilots were often on the receiving end of complaints by Masters over this but we had to explain that it was "Company Policy" and would have been taken into account by Owners/Charterers when fixing the cargo and freight rates for their ship.
----------------------------
Tony Crompton

Bill Davies
8th November 2007, 09:27
Yes Tony, we sure do. We will have to write a book on it on it one day.

non descript
8th November 2007, 10:41
Yes, we all know that but a ball point will always be a 'Biro'.



Bill

Firstly you are wrong; I for one certainly did not know that.

Secondly, and it is possible that you do not mean to be so, but your manner is coming across as aggressive and unpleasant. This is unfortunate.

Please accept both these facts and make an effort to make your postings more in keeping with the ethos of Ships Nostalgia and the general charm, tolerance and forebearance that we associate with life at sea.

Mark

NZSCOTTY
8th November 2007, 16:33
Nothing seems to have changed in this thread. Get to your corners boys and come out fighting. And please supstitute English for Brits when one tries to say how good the Brits are at piloting.

Hugh Ferguson
8th November 2007, 17:47
I'm compelled to disagree with Benjidog's view that this thread has gone on long enough. I have found it to be absolutely fascinating because it has opened a window on a nautical world that is totally alien to anything in my experience.
My 10 years foreign going took me to many differing ports-twelve times up and down the Hooghly, the Congo River, the Yangste, all of which involved thousands of hours under pilotage and I cannot call to mind anything occurring that sticks in my mind. Nowhere during those years did we ever go aground, be in collision, lose an anchor, damage the ship or a berth. I never witnessed, or heard of, any altercation between master and pilot, so to me these revelations have come as quite a surprise. But I must add that that era ended 54 years ago and a lot must have changed, but for better, or worse? I cannot wait to hear more!

Bill Davies
8th November 2007, 19:32
Their "argument" is that if you are coming to our jetty then we want you to use tugs as an extra precaution as ships can break down!! (WE know that don't we Bill!!). If you do not want to use tugs then we will get a different ship to carry our cargo!!
----------------------------
Tony Crompton

Just checked 17.11.77 (almost 30 years ago) Were getting old Tony!

John Cassels
8th November 2007, 21:20
Thread seems to have gone a bit quiet . Wonder why ?.

Bill Davies
8th November 2007, 21:43
Hugh,
You must not forget that in the BF things were a lot different than elsewhere.
4th Mate with Second Mates (FG), Third Mate with First Mate (FG) and three Masters (FG). The Master knowing that when he went to sleep the ship was in good hands. Made a token appearance at places like the 'one fathom bank' etc. Most of the British tramps I sailed in it was certificate of rank and in the main ok. Saloon dress was amusing and there was always a few characters.
BF was a great place to train in but Ludwigs surpassed the lot.

Lancastrian
8th November 2007, 21:57
I am amazed that all these pilots have been doing their jobs for so many years without understanding their legal position. Compulsory or not and whether given the con or not (and they are never given command!) they are advisers and the Master remains responsible for whatever happens.

James_C
8th November 2007, 22:09
Well it seems yes and no, however if it's compulsory pilotage then the following is of interest.
Some time ago, I copied this little piece of information from elsewhere on the site, so apologies to whoever was the original author as I can't remember myself.

The pilot is defined in The Pilotage Act of 1987 (and originally the 1894 Merchant Shipping Act) as "any person belonging to the ship who has the conduct thereof". The Act is also quite specific about who's in charge in compulsory pilotage areas :

"(2) If any ship is not under pilotage as required by subsection (1) above after an authorised pilot has offered to take charge of the ship, the master of the ship shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale."

The "Cavendish" case quite clearly set legal precedent that the pilot was the servant of the shipowner and not the port authority and despite a fair few challenges that remains the case.

It's not only the Master who can go to jail though:

" 21. —(1) If the pilot of a ship—
(a) does any act which causes or is likely to cause the loss or destruction of, or serious damage to, the ship or its machinery, navigational equipment or safety equipment, or the death of, or serious injury to, a person on board the ship; or
(b) omits to do anything required to preserve the ship or its machinery, navigational equipment or safety equipment from loss, destruction or serious damage or to preserve any person on board the ship from death or serious injury,
and the act or omission is deliberate or amounts to a breach or neglect of duty or he is under the influence of drink or a drug at the time of the act or omission, he shall be guilty of an offence.

(2) A person who is guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—
(a) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both; or
(b) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or a fine or both."

Despite the legislation being pretty clear the government tried to tie up all the loose ends after the Sea Empress grounding with The Port Marine Safety Code and encouraged Competent Harbour Authorities to employ their pilots rather than engage them as self employed under contracts of service. The MAIB have muddied the waters recently with their report into the Samskip Courier/Skagern collision on the Humber when they stressed that the pilot was only there to assist the Master. Whilst this may be a convenient assumption it has no basis in law.


Again, apologies to the original author of that post.

Bill Davies
8th November 2007, 22:40
The Port Marine Safety Code is worth looking at especially 'The Review of the Pilotage Act 1987'

Tony Crompton
9th November 2007, 00:38
I am amazed that all these pilots have been doing their jobs for so many years without understanding their legal position.
.

Let me assure you that all pilots do fully understand the legal position and
the terms of the Pilotage act under which we operate (or did before retiring!!)

--------------------------------
Tony Crompton

NZSCOTTY
9th November 2007, 04:01
Tony I take it "all pilots" and "we" does not actually mean ALL Pilots.

Tony Crompton
9th November 2007, 09:50
Tony I take it "all pilots" and "we" does not actually mean ALL Pilots.

Perhaps I should have added UK Pilots where part of their training includes knowledge of the Pilotage act.

Actually one bit I am not sure about,and I wonder if it has ever been "Put to the test " legally is where a Pilot has nobody to "Advise". I am referring to "Jobs" like a ship launch where the person you "Deal" with is the foreman rigger or shipwright. Another situation is moving a "Dead Ship" with only riggers aboard to make the tugs fast.

When Piloting Barges often you are the only person on board before the riggers board or after they have left. Who do you "advise" in those cases?

Another example is the so called "Ghost Ships".When the Pilot boarded those
ships he was the only person on board till well into the port and riggers boarded.

The tugs in cases like this always claim to be acting on the Pilots instructions,
so what is the legal position? There is no one for him to "Advise".Say, for example, I tell the tug to "Put more weight on the Stbd Bow" that is an order,not advice. There is nobody on the ship to override that. Am I still only acting in an advisory capacity???

As at the start of the thread it was noted that a satisfactory answer had not been found. The article from 1874 was in the same opinin, and I would suggest that if this thread continues to when (or if) computers are obsolete there will still not be a final answer.

p.s. Bill, we ARE old!!!

Bill Davies
9th November 2007, 10:04
Thanks for that Tony. You've really made my day!

JimC
9th November 2007, 13:11
It all boils down to 'where the buck stops'.
You must also take into consideration the 'money' ingredient in this puzzle. I mean the approach of Underwriters , Banks and 'for a better expression: 'ambulance chasers'.
I have first hand knowledge of this as I was 2nd Mate on British vessel which ran aground in the Great Lakes while having a Pilot on board. I was on the bridge with the Captain when it happened and at that time, our Captain dismissed the Pilot and assumed control of the ship. I ended up as principal witness at the subsequent Court of Enquiry.
There are two things here: The Pilot has local nowledge and offers it for sale. The Captain has knowledge of his ship and the limitations of his crew. Frequently, the Captain has local pilotage knowledge as well. After all, a Master's certificate isn't just for being in charge of a ship in safe, deep, offshore waters!
You can argue about the pros and cons untill the cows come home but, nothing is cut and dried. At the end of the day, the Port will try to blame the Master and the Master will try to blame the Pilot. Nowadays, they try to blame everyone or anyone. The solution might be an internationally agreed Pilotage Contract Form to be signed by both parties when the Pilot boards. This would be worded so as to leave no doubt as to who is responsible in the case of an incident involving injury, loss of life, material loss or damage and all the other risks covered my the standard marine policy. It should also contain a clause clearly defining the role of Captain and Pilot. I use deliberately use the term 'Captain' so as not to confuse the responsibilities between legally defined 'Master and Servant'. This then would indicate to respective employers that they too have responsibilities and cannot avoid them.
As I said at the beginning: where the 'buck' stops is important so it should be clearly and irrufuteably defined. The rules we use were designed in the days of sailing ships - I don't see any from my window these days!

Cap'n Pete
9th November 2007, 18:15
[
"(2) If any ship is not under pilotage as required by subsection (1) above after an authorised pilot has offered to take charge of the ship, the master of the ship shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale."

The operative wording of this law makes clear that the pilot has to offer his services at the time the ship arrives at the pilot statino; if he does not, then the master is fully entitled under this legislation to take his ship into a compulsory pilotage area on his own. I have often arrived in port and been told that the pilots were not available because of a shift change or whatever. OK, if we are to obey the law, what's stopping any master under such circumstances from taking the ship in on his own? I tried in Portsmouth once and the next thing I knew was the QHM screaming over the VHF at me.

I would hate to think how many hours I've wasted trying to hold a 300 metre ship in position at the pilot station while the pilot finished his lunch.

Bill Davies
9th November 2007, 19:30
I agree. There should be a standard clause in all Pilotage Procedures and not even hinted at in the PMSC along the lines 'Pilots wait for ships. Ships do not wait for Pilots'.
I have had similar problems with +300m ships with the disadvantage of 24m draft. No laughing matter.

Bill

John Campbell
10th November 2007, 10:53
Does this article add to the debate?


Bar pilot on errant ship had several mishaps in past
Carl Nolte,Michael Taylor, Chronicle Staff Writers

Friday, November 9, 2007

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Bay Oil Spill
Confusion over ship's path



Photos | Video
Capt. John Cota, the veteran master mariner who was piloting the container ship Cosco Busan when it hit the Bay Bridge on Wednesday, has been involved in a number of ship-handling incidents and was reprimanded last year for an error in judgment when he ran a ship aground, state regulatory documents show.

Cota, 59, has been a bar pilot, guiding ships in and out of San Francisco Bay and its tributaries, for more than 25 years. Many mariners consider him an excellent ship handler.

But he has had four "incidents" involving an investigation by the Board of Pilot Commissioners in the past 14 years and has been "counseled" by pilot commission executives on several other occasions, documents show.

Capt. Patrick Moloney, executive director of the Pilot Commission for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun, described Cota as a "very good pilot," but said his record of ship-handling incidents "is in the upper half for frequency."

A woman at Cota's home in Petaluma said he was not there Thursday, and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

Cota was navigating the Cosco Busan in dense fog when it hit the fender around one of the towers of the Bay Bridge. The accident ruptured one of the ship's fuel tanks and 58,000 gallons of heavy-duty bunker fuel oil poured into the bay.

The cause of the accident is a mystery - it is unclear whether the ship hit the bridge tower base because of some mechanical failure of the ship's equipment, an error by the pilot, or some other reason.

Whatever the reason, the accident was highly unusual. It was the first time a ship has hit a Bay Bridge support since the span was built more than 70 years ago.

Cota's role in the accident is under investigation because he was the officer giving orders to navigate the ship when it hit the bridge.

There could have been a number of factors that might have caused the ship to hit the support.

There might have been a failure of electronics, said Capt. Pete McIsaac, president of the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association. "When you are in the fog, you rely heavily on electronics," he said.

The Cosco Busan, built in South Korea in 2001, is typical of modern large ships, which carry radar, a Global Positioning System, fathometer and an array of instruments that give the ship's position, course and speed.

Even the newest and largest ships, however, depend on the skill and judgment of pilots and ship officers. In the bay, a pilot gives orders to the helmsman. While the captain has the ultimate responsibility, the pilot has control.

Cota's job was to take an 810-foot-long ship, displacing 65,131 tons, between two support towers of the Bay Bridge. The channel is 2,210 feet wide. The ship is 131 feet wide.

The ship has a steel hull. Like all freighters, it has a single hull. Only tankers have double hulls.

Cota has been before the Pilot Commission for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun, a state regulatory agency, several times in his career.

In his most recent incident, he was reprimanded in July 2006 after an investigation showed that he had allowed the bulk freighter Pioneer to move out of the channel and run aground when it was approaching a dock at Antioch in February 2006.

According to records of the Pilot Commission, "Capt. Cota had not realized that the vessel was going off track and did nothing to prevent it."

He also received a "letter of concern" for an incident involving a small Navy aircraft carrier in San Francisco Bay in 2003.

Cota was involved in four other incidents dating to 1993. Before that, Moloney said, Cota was "counseled" by commission executives a number of times.

Cota works in a system that is both tightly regulated - all pilots, for example, must go through exhaustive licensing and training procedures - and extremely complex, especially when it involves foreign ships.

In fact, the entire ownership, leasing and operation of big commercial ships is complicated and, in some ways, deliberately so.

The Cosco Busan has had two names and has sailed under at least two flags since it went into service in 2001.

An experienced San Francisco admiralty lawyer, who did not want to be named because he has many clients in the shipping world, said ships and their owners and operators sometimes cloak themselves with dizzying layers of paperwork "to avoid liability. If you can't find who owns it," it is more difficult to file a lawsuit.

Hanjin Shipping, which is chartering the Cosco Busan, said in an e-mail Wednesday that the vessel is owned by a company it identified variously as Synergy Maritime Ltd. or Synergy Marine Ltd., of Cyprus.

Raajeev Singh, technical manager for Synergy, said the ship was run by a ship management agency in Hong Kong, whose name he did not provide.

A woman who answered the phone at Synergy in Cyprus referred queries to Darrell Wilson, a spokesman for MTI Network in Stamford, Conn., which handles "crisis management" for the shipping industry.

Wilson said the ship is owned by Regal Stone Ltd. of Hong Kong, managed by Fleet Management Ltd. of Hong Kong, and its crew and technical support are provided by Synergy Management Services.

Asked about financial liability, Wilson said, "Regal Stone is stepping up to the plate."

Finding the owner of the ship - or finding who, if anyone, is liable - can be so difficult that sometimes it's "hard to get jurisdiction over the actual owner or even figure out who they are," the admiralty lawyer said.

The only solution, ultimately, may be to go after the ship.

"If (the state) has incurred a $3 million damage," the lawyer said, "then they can arrest the ship. ... Then a U.S. marshal stops the ship and keeps it here, requiring the ship itself to pay for damages, which means they can seize it and sell it."

Chronicle staff writer Jim Doyle contributed to this report. E-mail the writers at cnolte@sfchronicle.com and mtaylor@sfchronicle.com.

This article appeared on page A - 15 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Bill Davies
10th November 2007, 12:31
Encouraged by reading above and learn something of an incident that all too often is shrouded in the 'corporate cloak'. Transparency is essential. Still waiting to read the MCIB report on 'Bro Traveller' (Dublin Bay) some years ago. Three grounding on fully loaded tankers in as many months and hardly a ripple in the press at the time.

pilot
10th November 2007, 17:37
Search "Bro Traveller" on MAIB web page. Results include MAIB, Safety Digests for 2005.

NZSCOTTY
12th November 2007, 04:33
The Marine accident report into the collision between fast ferry and cargo ship in fog in the Mersey raises a few points in this thread. I read this in Nautilus UK Telegraph Nov 2007.

The bridge team of Sea Express 1 are critised. The pilot and bridge team on Alaska Rainbow are critised as are the VTS operators.

Numerous recomendations are made but I would be interested to know who will take the can regarding the Alaska Rainbow. The Master or Pilot?

Bill Davies
12th November 2007, 07:55
NZSCOTTY,
The VTS issue is very interesting and probably another thread should be initiated on VTS. The accident re fast ferry on Mersey is particularly interesting.

Steve Woodward
12th November 2007, 12:18
[


I would hate to think how many hours I've wasted trying to hold a 300 metre ship in position at the pilot station while the pilot finished his lunch.


Pete
I can sense your frustration at having to wait for the pilot 'finish his lunch' - perhaps you are not aware of the behind the scenes view of this and are being very unfair on the pilots.

For example at this pilot service : Ok youve given your ETA's et al for weeks, then you give the VTS ( Vessel Traffic Service) the required 2.5 hour ETA, this initiates a call to the as yet unaware pilot that he is required, at whatever hour of the day 'Pilot' stops what he is doing ( or sleeping) and gets into his uniform and drives to the pilot office. At the pilot office he prints off the paperwork for the ship and plans the passage, -all pilot are required to live within an hours drive of the port office.
This done he swaps his car for a fleet car and drives to either were the ship is- if in port, or the pilot launch station, all journeys up to 35 miles over narrow country roads. he will then either board the ship for sailing or board a pilot launch for the up to 45 minute trip to the boarding ground ( it has taken two hours in rough weather).
Being late for us is not an option and will be questioned

Hope this opens up the behind the scenes curtains
Steve

James_C
12th November 2007, 12:47
Steve,
It seems there's something wrong with the setup then. Up here in the Provinces the Pilots are/were given a ships expected list with times a few days in advance.

pilot
12th November 2007, 13:03
Jim, and you're allocated a job on the strength of an expected arrival in a few days time? Can't handle many ships or have many pilots then if that works.
Rgds.

Orbitaman
12th November 2007, 13:11
I would hate to think how many hours I've wasted trying to hold a 300 metre ship in position at the pilot station while the pilot finished his lunch.[/QUOTE]

On the flip side to that comment, while I was working as a pilot, I can remember spending many an hour on the pilot boat waiting for the ship to arrive at the pilot station becuase the Captain had been unable to provide an accurate ETA. Sometimes an hour or so, but on more than one occasion, six hours. We did not have the benefit of staying in our office until the ship came over the horizon because the pilot station was for an offshore terminal, 45 miles from where we left from to meet the ship.

All in all, it's not just the pilots who can't arrange an accurate boarding time.

Steve Woodward
12th November 2007, 13:54
Steve,
It seems there's something wrong with the setup then. Up here in the Provinces the Pilots are/were given a ships expected list with times a few days in advance.

We are an 'on demand' service on occasion hitting 60 or more ships a tide
so things occasionaly go awry.

My favourite on boarding a ship that was 5 miles north of the pilot station was being told that it was 'too rough to go any closer with safety' - but it was Ok for our 13 mtr pilot launch LOL

James_C
12th November 2007, 13:55
Pilot,
Our local mob have 6 pilots to a watch (watches 0800-2000,2000-0800) and operate on the 'turn' system with numbers from 1-6 (No.1 being the on duty Pilot in the watch house).
Since they all know which number they are it's not that difficult to work out from the Expected/sailing list when/where you'll be required.
The other thing that happens (or at least used to) was that if you were going to be required at some point during the day they normally got a call at 0800 or before, to give as much notice as possible (not all Pilots live within an hour of the Pilot station).
As ships are sending ETA's days/weeks in advance then would it not be possible to post this on a board somewhere/computer database so as to give everyone a 'heads up'?

James_C
12th November 2007, 13:58
Steve,
Sounds about right. Though it's amazing how rough it can/can't be for boarding a Pilot etc, but it was still ok for a liberty launch or for paying off. LOL
Being an ex Mobil man, I've been meaning to ask if you ever came across John McGurk in your travels? He ended up in BP a few years ago, which is ironic really as he'd been with BP 30 odd years go! Not sure if he's retired yet.

Steve Woodward
12th November 2007, 13:59
At the moment we have 60 or so pilots on the turn list, you do a job and go to the bottom, a bit disconcerting to finish the job and find your turn 3 ! , in total we have 120 pilots

James_C
12th November 2007, 14:02
Steve,
Looks like I finished editing my last one after you replied! Just a wee question regarding an ex Mobil man.

pilot
12th November 2007, 14:42
Jim.

Tad hard to give days/week etas when the ship's on a passage measured in hours.

Rgds.

Tony Crompton
12th November 2007, 16:27
I would hate to think how many hours I've wasted trying to hold a 300 metre ship in position at the pilot station while the pilot finished his lunch.

Perhaps if the lunch had been better on your ship he may have come off to you sooner!!!

NZSCOTTY
12th November 2007, 18:13
I wreckon you lot (Masters and Pilots) should all get together with a case of Whiskey. (maybe gin for the poms) and talk this over. Probably won't get to far but I am sure you will all come out friends. (with sore heads)

Cap'n Pete
12th November 2007, 18:46
Perhaps if the lunch had been better on your ship he may have come off to you sooner!!!

I do hate one liners which contribute nothing to the discussion other than to make disparaging and unnecessary slurs. As master of a British-flag ship, I have never had a pilot who did not enjoy the food taken on my ship. Indeed, I never met any pilot who had the bad manners to suggest that the food on any ship was not to his liking.

The point I am trying to make is that if the pilot is not at the pilot station at the time he has been ordered for, then the Pilotage Act allows for the captain to disregard the compulsory pilotage provision. Many port authorities and pilots seem to be unaware of this.

Tony Crompton
12th November 2007, 20:04
My apologies then. I only meant it as a "Light hearted joke"

Steve Woodward
12th November 2007, 20:13
Have to be decaff coffee these days !

non descript
12th November 2007, 22:05
I do hate one liners which contribute nothing to the discussion other than to make disparaging and unnecessary slurs. .

Cap'n Pete,

Oh do get grip of life please

A great deal of what life and this site is about, is the well meaning and friendly mix of "one liners" in amongst the well researched comments. You are being far too tedious with that attack on what was just a passing comment.

Enjoy the Site and stop having a pot shot when it is not required

(Thumb)
Mark

randcmackenzie
12th November 2007, 23:00
The point I am trying to make is that if the pilot is not at the pilot station at the time he has been ordered for, then the Pilotage Act allows for the captain to disregard the compulsory pilotage provision. Many port authorities and pilots seem to be unaware of this.[/QUOTE]


That may very well be true, but I think from an underwriters' point of view the ship will be deemed unseaworthy if she is knowingly within a compulsory pilotage area without a pilot.

In the event of incident they will then refuse any claim.

Keith Adams
13th November 2007, 07:33
Last Wednesday at 0830 the container ship "Cosco Busan" struck the base of one of the support towers for the Bay Bridge while on her way out from Oakland, California. Tore an 80 ft long by 10 ft high gash in the starboard hull about 10 ft below the white painted HANJIN sign at about amidships, spilling about 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into the San Francisco Bay. The Dungeness Crab Fishing Season was to have begun this Thursday but has been canceled ... massive cleanup underway ... so far they are saying it was human error ... a Pilot was aboard and it was dense fog ... sailing had been delayed 1 and 1/2 hours due to fog ... I bet there was extreme pressure put on the Pilot to take her out ... this one will be expensive ! Regards, Snowy

lakercapt
13th November 2007, 14:24
Have resisted from entering into the fray as most everyone is entitled to their opinion.
As a master who did his own pilotage when sailing on U.K. vessels (it was part of your job and not only was it expected that you do it you would have been looking for another line of work if you did not) to on the Great Lakes where it was your job.
I have a question for those masters, and you know who you are.
When a pilot was on board "your" vessel did you ever leave the wheelhouse and go below and have a sleep or do paperwork in preparation to arriving??.
I know I did and didn't feel as if I were negelecting my position. Many a times I have been delighted to hand over the "con" to the pilot and get a few hours ziz after an arduous trip.
Bill

Keith Adams
13th November 2007, 17:23
Regarding the "Cosco Busan" incident ... there is a video on the San Francisco Web Site at www.boatingsf.com Cheers, Snowy

Hugh Ferguson
13th November 2007, 20:47
[
"(2) If any ship is not under pilotage as required by subsection (1) above after an authorised pilot has offered to take charge of the ship, the master of the ship shall be guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale."

The operative wording of this law makes clear that the pilot has to offer his services at the time the ship arrives at the pilot statino; if he does not, then the master is fully entitled under this legislation to take his ship into a compulsory pilotage area on his own. I have often arrived in port and been told that the pilots were not available because of a shift change or whatever. OK, if we are to obey the law, what's stopping any master under such circumstances from taking the ship in on his own? I tried in Portsmouth once and the next thing I knew was the QHM screaming over the VHF at me.

I would hate to think how many hours I've wasted trying to hold a 300 metre ship in position at the pilot station while the pilot finished his lunch.

There must be many occasions when, for some reason other than the convenience of the pilot, a ship is kept waiting. On this occasion I cannot recall why the master of the Ariane 1, decided to con his ship into Dover Harbour before the pilot, myself, had time to get on board. And it is not often that such an event might be photographed to demonstrate how unwise it is to do so!
The photograph was taken by a John Callis, Coast Guard, who, anticipating the inevitable collision of the ship with the detached mole, reached for his camera and took this photograph-from the cliff top-at the very moment I had arrived on deck and bawled at the bridge, FULL ASTERN. The smoke resulted from the engineers giving her an excess of throttle. We missed the wall by about 50 feet. It was an exceptionally foolish thing to try and enter, on account of the counter current of which the captain was completely unaware.

Bill Davies
14th November 2007, 22:26
Running through this thread seems to be perception and what dismayed me in recent years is the trend of some Pilots on boarding to busy themselves positioning beacons on the wings of the bridge and then spend an extraordinary amount of time acquainting themselves with their laptops. Very disconcerting.
Fortunately, I had the experience to have visited all the Gulf ports and other major oil ports many times in the last 40 odd years.

lakercapt
15th November 2007, 03:10
Running through this thread seems to be perception and what dismayed me in recent years is the trend of some Pilots on boarding to busy themselves positioning beacons on the wings of the bridge and then spend an extraordinary amount of time acquainting themselves with their laptops. Very disconcerting.
Fortunately, I had the experience to have visited all the Gulf ports and other major oil ports many times in the last 40 odd years.

Do you mean by that they were not paying attention to what they were supposed to be doing i.e. Piloting.
Good job you were there Bill

Keith Adams
15th November 2007, 03:26
Sorry Guys, I was wrong ... "Cosco Busan" extensive hull damage is on the port side and NOT starboard as I reported. Snowy

Bill Davies
15th November 2007, 07:56
Do you mean by that they were not paying attention to what they were supposed to be doing i.e. Piloting.
Good job you were there Bill

Exactly!

Cap'n Pete
15th November 2007, 09:52
Last Wednesday at 0830 the container ship "Cosco Busan" struck the base of one of the support towers for the Bay Bridge while on her way out from Oakland, California. Tore an 80 ft long by 10 ft high gash in the starboard hull about 10 ft below the white painted HANJIN sign at about amidships, spilling about 58,000 gallons of fuel oil into the San Francisco Bay. The Dungeness Crab Fishing Season was to have begun this Thursday but has been canceled ... massive cleanup underway ... so far they are saying it was human error ... a Pilot was aboard and it was dense fog ... sailing had been delayed 1 and 1/2 hours due to fog ... I bet there was extreme pressure put on the Pilot to take her out ... this one will be expensive ! Regards, Snowy

Apparently, this pilot has already been disciplined on a number of occasions for errors of judgement and poor ability preceeding this accident. One wonders, therefore, why the Bay Pilots kept him on. The pilot had been warned by the VTS that he was off station and approaching the bridge support but he stated that his instruments showed otherwise. I often wonder if the laptops carried by some pilots for navigation in fog have been kept properly updated.

Cap'n Pete
15th November 2007, 09:58
The point I am trying to make is that if the pilot is not at the pilot station at the time he has been ordered for, then the Pilotage Act allows for the captain to disregard the compulsory pilotage provision. Many port authorities and pilots seem to be unaware of this.


That may very well be true, but I think from an underwriters' point of view the ship will be deemed unseaworthy if she is knowingly within a compulsory pilotage area without a pilot.

In the event of incident they will then refuse any claim.[/QUOTE]

I am not aware of any single incident whereby insurers have refused a claim unders such circumstances. Perhaps, you can know of some?

Of course, this pre-supposes that the master is risking his ship to enter the compulsory pilotage area without a pilot on board, which no prudent master would do. If he has undertaken a proper risk assessment and found that the risk is minimal, then I cannot see how the insurers could refuse any claim.

John Gurton
15th November 2007, 12:34
From the Safety at Sea website today...
Cosco Busan: doubt cast on radar claim
SAN FRANCISCO 15 November – A preliminary examination of the radar and electronic charting on the Cosco Busan has shown that the equipment is working normally, says the national Transportation Safety Board. Debbie Hersman, an official with the board, said that the equipment was working “as expected”, although more tests have to be made. She was quoted in news reports as saying that the pilot, John Cota, had told investigators that he experienced problems with the radar a few minutes before the ship hit the Oakland Bay Bridge, and that he had been unclear about the meaning of symbols on an electronic chart. According to Cota’s attorney, the pilot said the images on the radar were greatly distorted and in the fog he didn’t know where he was heading. “He could not find the bridge on the distorted radar, so he relied on the electronic chart, which shows the path of the ship,” the attorney continued. “But he was unfamiliar with it. Basically, each one of these devices is different and you can program it differently.” Cota had asked the master to point out the centre of the span. “The master pointed it out and it turned out to be the centre of the tower,” said the pilot’s attorney.
San Francisco representatives of the ship’s owner, Regal Stone of Hong Kong, have declined to comment on the pilot’s remarks. They told Fairplay that they are waiting for the criminal investigation to be completed. In the aftermath of the 200-tonne oil spill, the head of the Coast Guard’s accident response team, Captain William Uberti, has been replaced. The agency has been strongly criticised for underestimating the size of the spill and for not being quicker to start cleaning up.

tacho
15th November 2007, 12:59
It seems to me that relying on electronic charts in enclosed waters is a bit dodgy. In aviation there is something called map shift - don't know if applies at sea, but it means that you are not where you think you are on the electronic chart.

randcmackenzie
15th November 2007, 20:23
That may very well be true, but I think from an underwriters' point of view the ship will be deemed unseaworthy if she is knowingly within a compulsory pilotage area without a pilot.

In the event of incident they will then refuse any claim.

I am not aware of any single incident whereby insurers have refused a claim unders such circumstances. Perhaps, you can know of some?

Of course, this pre-supposes that the master is risking his ship to enter the compulsory pilotage area without a pilot on board, which no prudent master would do. If he has undertaken a proper risk assessment and found that the risk is minimal, then I cannot see how the insurers could refuse any claim.[/QUOTE]

A Denholm managed 70,000 dwt bulk carrier was departing a port in Africa, and dropped the pilot inside the compulsory pilotage area. She stranded in a rain squall, and because she had no pilot on board the underwriters deemed her unseaworthy, and refused the claim.

Though she was salvaged, the cost of lightering and repair effectively brought an end to the owner's shipowning activities, though they are a very large broker to this day.

Naturally enough, the subject was circulated to all managed ships, with warnings to all not to repeat the mistake.

I was also aware of other such incidents, where underwriters refused to pay because a ship sailed with a known defect.

lakercapt
16th November 2007, 12:54
Insurnce claims,
Always thought it was the case where you think you have sufficient coverage until you try a claim and them the very small print clause kicks in.
Is it not the case in the UK with car insurance, that should youy tires not have enough tread yiour claim may be partly denied?
Shipping I am certain would have clauses to limit the claim.
In all my years as master I don't recall ever seeing aan insurance policy covering the vessel, cargo or crew.
Bill

Orbitaman
16th November 2007, 13:04
Insurnce claims,
Always thought it was the case where you think you have sufficient coverage until you try a claim and them the very small print clause kicks in.
Is it not the case in the UK with car insurance, that should youy tires not have enough tread yiour claim may be partly denied?
Shipping I am certain would have clauses to limit the claim.
In all my years as master I don't recall ever seeing aan insurance policy covering the vessel, cargo or crew.
Bill

Ships insurance is normally covered under three differents policies;

Hull and machinery - covered either by an insurance company or the P&I club or a combination of both (not to be encouraged)

Cargo - again covered by either by an insurance company or the P&I club

Crew - normally covered by the P&I club.

As you say, all of this coverage is governed by 'small print' enabling the insurance company or P&I to reduce their liability if they so desire and like with car insurance in the UK, there is always an excess on the policy.

Orcadian
16th November 2007, 17:41
I am not aware of any single incident whereby insurers have refused a claim unders such circumstances. Perhaps, you can know of some?

Of course, this pre-supposes that the master is risking his ship to enter the compulsory pilotage area without a pilot on board, which no prudent master would do. If he has undertaken a proper risk assessment and found that the risk is minimal, then I cannot see how the insurers could refuse any claim.

A Denholm managed 70,000 dwt bulk carrier was departing a port in Africa, and dropped the pilot inside the compulsory pilotage area. She stranded in a rain squall, and because she had no pilot on board the underwriters deemed her unseaworthy, and refused the claim.

Though she was salvaged, the cost of lightering and repair effectively brought an end to the owner's shipowning activities, though they are a very large broker to this day.

Naturally enough, the subject was circulated to all managed ships, with warnings to all not to repeat the mistake.

I was also aware of other such incidents, where underwriters refused to pay because a ship sailed with a known defect.[/QUOTE]

would that be a ship called the Erskine Bridge by any chance

Keith Adams
21st November 2007, 22:07
Thought you guys may like this poem by a San Francisco famed Admiralty Lawyer James A. Quimby (deceased)

MAYBE

When I have insurance losses
And my company won't pay,
The other underwriters come
To shake my hand and say,
"You've been cheated, you've been swindled,
You've been treated very badly.
If you'd given us your business
We'd have settled with you gladly."
But here's a strange coincidence
When he is on the pan,
I have difficulty finding
My own insurance man.
He's always out. And I have learned
Through telepathic science
That he's busy sympathizing
With the other fellows' clients.


Respectfully submitted in memory of a great man.
Keith Adams (Snowy)

Ian F
9th February 2008, 19:05
Just as well all of us Pilots did not operate under the Laws of Oleron

K urgess
9th February 2008, 19:22
For those wondering as I did about the Laws of Oleron look here (http://www.mcallen.lib.tx.us/books/mari_law/law_oler.htm).

DICK SLOAN
9th February 2008, 21:46
Very interesting....

Ian F
12th February 2008, 18:31
Thank you Marconi Sahib

RayJordandpo
13th February 2008, 07:46
Very interesting indeed. I must admit I'd never heard of it

Hugh Ferguson
9th August 2011, 12:27
Hugh,
You must not forget that in the BF things were a lot different than elsewhere.
4th Mate with Second Mates (FG), Third Mate with First Mate (FG) and three Masters (FG). The Master knowing that when he went to sleep the ship was in good hands. Made a token appearance at places like the 'one fathom bank' etc. Most of the British tramps I sailed in it was certificate of rank and in the main ok. Saloon dress was amusing and there was always a few characters.
BF was a great place to train in but Ludwigs surpassed the lot.

Bill, Given that Blue Funnel ships are well manned they still are obliged to take on board, as a pilot, any Frans, Eiji or Hans wherever in the world they happen to be.
As stated, in all of the thousands of hours I spent in ships under pilotage I cannot recall a single incident of any consequence whatsoever. I don't doubt that, shall we say, there are pilots who are less competent than the norm but, in my experience, they appear to be a fairly rare species.

sparkie2182
9th August 2011, 12:38
You won't get a response Hugh.

B.D. left the fold some time ago.

Hugh Ferguson
9th August 2011, 12:47
You won't get a response Hugh.

B.D. left the fold some time ago.

Yes, sparkie, I know that! But a very recent posting re. a master 'burning the midnight oil' filling in a damage report, used the same wording as Bill did on another occasion-makes me wonder if he still might be around in different guise.

sparkie2182
9th August 2011, 12:52
Well Hugh.........

It's always a possibility.

Sad to say.

jimthehat
9th August 2011, 13:02
Hugh,
You must not forget that in the BF things were a lot different than elsewhere.
4th Mate with Second Mates (FG), Third Mate with First Mate (FG) and three Masters (FG). The Master knowing that when he went to sleep the ship was in good hands. Made a token appearance at places like the 'one fathom bank' etc. Most of the British tramps I sailed in it was certificate of rank and in the main ok. Saloon dress was amusing and there was always a few characters.
BF was a great place to train in but Ludwigs surpassed the lot.

just read your post and tend to disagree with your statement re certificate of rank.
In bank line the may have been a few uncertificated third mates but i would say that over 95 5 of 2/0s and 1005 of mates had superior certificates and in the 50s and 60s we were all dressed in uniform of the day .

jim

Trader
9th August 2011, 14:43
I think that Bill has had several names on here. He has just joined the British Merchant Navy site if any one wants a word with him. LOL.

Alec.

duquesa
9th August 2011, 20:40
And back on one of his usual hobby horses. (*))
Won't be too long before he crawls under somebody's skin.

sparkie2182
9th August 2011, 20:49
"He has just joined the British Merchant Navy site if any one wants a word with him"


Lucky old British Merchant Navy site members.........

They will have some fun times ahead.

john24601
10th August 2011, 15:20
On the bridge of a Royal Navy warship the navigator or officer of the watch can have 'conduct' of the ship, delegated to them by the Captain, but the Captain retains overall 'command'.

Jonjay
23rd September 2011, 08:06
The Master is always in charge ,the pilot is there to advise on local Knowledge.The Master has the right, should he see that by the Pilots action the vessel or personnel on the vessel are in danger, he should advise the pilot of the fact and if the manoeuvre or action continues,he is well within his rights by Law to take over. The rider to this is he has to be very sure his ground

Michael Taylor
23rd September 2011, 13:58
If I remember correctly that when transiting the Panama canal, the "pilot" was in command and relieved the Master from responsibility.

jimthehat
23rd September 2011, 14:52
If I remember correctly that when transiting the Panama canal, the "pilot" was in command and relieved the Master from responsibility.

Re the above, I have just spoken with a recently retired container ship master who states that even in the canal the master is in command and he was never asked to sign anything that stated that the pilot would be in command.

jim

IRW
23rd September 2011, 23:38
To further 'muddy' the waters. The Panama Canal Rules Art. 90 Pilotage compulsory. Art 92 The pilot assigned to a vessel shall have control of the navigation and movement of such vessel. Would appear then pilot is in charge. I can remember ob one occaision as master the chief came up from the ER when going through locks and pilot politely remarked that according to these reg he should be in the control room. Also the regs had to be carried on bridge. IRW

Hugh Ferguson
24th September 2011, 20:51
If I remember correctly that when transiting the Panama canal, the "pilot" was in command and relieved the Master from responsibility.

I simply cannot understand how anyone can imagine, that a stranger, and one who is usually a foreiger, can ever be thought to have gone aboard a ship-to which in all probability he had never set eyes on before-and take command of it.

muldonaich
24th September 2011, 21:41
maybe some masters could answer this question who have done a few transits of the canal .

Jonjay
25th September 2011, 07:32
In the context of Panama Canal. It is the ship that is the foreigner and the pilot that has the local knowledge and training for those conditions

Binnacle
25th September 2011, 11:28
In pilotage waters, and without, I was always aware that in the event of any serious incident resulting in a BOT inquiry that my level of competence as a shipmaster would be questioned and Job 1:21 might be applicable. "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away". My experience with pilots was invariably favourable.

Michael Taylor
25th September 2011, 14:26
Seems we started something here! Are there no subscribers living in Panama .... maybe they could visit the Panama Canal Offices for the real answer.

woodend
25th September 2011, 15:10
I feel I have to remark on Hugh's reply, though I had hoped that this thread had died! We all know what the 'proper' answer to this question is! However during the 'rust bucket' era when South Africa had to import crude oil, I, as Pilot, was left alone on the bridge of many a 'foreign' fully laden V.L.C.C. with just a 'telegraph swinger' and the wheel man for company, the Captain having departed as soon as I got aboard. I can say in all honesty that I was lucky and got away with it!

jmcg
25th September 2011, 16:19
I can recall an event when alongside on Autolycus at Trincomalee loading tea in chests.

Word reached the Old Man (Capt Edwards if I can recall) that the Tamil Tigers rebels were making rapid progress towards the port and were likely to disrupt port activities and other government functions.

The OM, possibly under instructions from India Buildings decided that we must get off the berth. We had no pilot.

We cleared the berth certainly but scraped her" bottom" in the hasty departure to the "roads". A few days later after divers went down we were cleared to resume homeward voyage.

During the few days in the roads we feasted on the most amazing sea food platters ever imagined - all caught to demand by the locals.

Not aware of any negative actions against a very fine OM in Capt. Edwards.

BW

J(Gleam)(Gleam)

muldonaich
25th September 2011, 23:43
I feel I have to remark on Hugh's reply, though I had hoped that this thread had died! We all know what the 'proper' answer to this question is! However during the 'rust bucket' era when South Africa had to import crude oil, I, as Pilot, was left alone on the bridge of many a 'foreign' fully laden V.L.C.C. with just a 'telegraph swinger' and the wheel man for company, the Captain having departed as soon as I got aboard. I can say in all honesty that I was lucky and got away with it! so what is the proper answer to the qestion about the panama canal who has command in transit pilot or master i have been through this canal umteen times and the old man was on the bridge at all times but i doubt if he could have taken over going through the locks the pilot was talking to the donkeys shore squad and the crowd fore and aft cpo and mate forard 2nd mate and an ab aft but you were not allowed to touch any thing so who was in charge kev.

James_C
26th September 2011, 00:51
Regarding the Panama question, I think we're perhaps confusing the issue of command with that of liability.
Regardless of any local regulation, by both flag state and international law it is the Master of the vessel who retains command - nobody else.
Depending on the local regulations, the Pilot may have the conduct of the vessel, but never in command - the same applies in the UK in an area of compulsory pilotage, as defined by the Pilotage Act.

joebuckham
26th September 2011, 00:53
so what is the proper answer to the qestion about the panama canal who has command in transit pilot or master i have been through this canal umteen times and the old man was on the bridge at all times but i doubt if he could have taken over going through the locks the pilot was talking to the donkeys shore squad and the crowd fore and aft cpo and mate forard 2nd mate and an ab aft but you were not allowed to touch any thing so who was in charge kev.

kev,you've hit it right on the head, the pilot's in charge, because he is singing from the same song sheet as the canal employees in the control rooms, and fore and aft on your ship, and the men driving the 'donkey's'(Thumb) and it makes for a very safe and controlled manoeuvre

Jardine
5th November 2011, 20:06
I really don't understand the confusion with this one . The Master is in command at all times. There is nothing in the Panama Transit Agreement that subrogates command authority to the Pilot. I did have occasion to over-rule a well known pilot and and received a reprimand from owners a few days later. Obviously the Panama Canal Authority like to attach great importance to their Pilots. Try the acid test. Have an accident and see who is held liable.

Ian Brown
8th November 2011, 12:22
I really don't understand the confusion with this one . The Master is in command at all times. There is nothing in the Panama Transit Agreement that subrogates command authority to the Pilot. I did have occasion to over-rule a well known pilot and and received a reprimand from owners a few days later. Obviously the Panama Canal Authority like to attach great importance to their Pilots. Try the acid test. Have an accident and see who is held liable.

I agree totally.
Any Master who thinks that if his ship has an accident/incident in the Panama Canal and he will not be in trouble is deluding himself.
I find increasingly that when a pilot arrives on the bridge he presents me with a booklet for that port which requires multiple signatures by me basically confirming that if anything happens during berthing, alongside and departing, then I am responsible. I doubt if we would get very far if I refused to sign it.

Robin Hughes
8th November 2011, 12:49
Of course legally the master is always in charge of his ship and should have the experiance to handle his ship. He should always monitor the pilots actions and step in if he can see things going wrong. If he runs aground or hits something he is legally responsible, the pilot can walk off and say have a nice day, and many do. If the Master ignores the pilots advice and has an accident he is in deep s.... , so damed if you do and damed if you dont.

pilot
8th November 2011, 15:49
Robin. Afraid I agree with you there. I am aware of at least one incident when the pilot has indeed walked off with such a comment as described. I am sure that the Master involved will have spent hours on the phone, writing reports and preparing himself for a Super's visit and a possible ring round various manning agencies in his next career move.
(I was master for 24 years prior to becoming a pilot and am aware of Pilots and Masters who both think they can walk on water.)

Jardine
10th November 2011, 18:58
Would a Pilot benefit from substantial command experience?

Robin Hughes
11th November 2011, 00:32
Would a Pilot benefit from substantial command experience?

For me the obvious way to get into pilotage is to have held a command first, because of all the experiance he will gain on how a ship works, but this is a long road.
I am sure i am right in saying that in the past many UK harbour authoities used to send their pilot apprentices to sea to gain this experiance. Although only for a couple of years.
Today many port authorities train their own pilots, or they have experiance in command of harbour tugs.
You have to remember that pilots are piloting ships every day, and a vast range of different ship types, whilst a deep sea vessel may only see a port once or twice a month. Depending on the vessels trade the pilot apprentice will gain more knowledge understuding both the pilot and master of the vessels he visits.

garry Norton
11th November 2011, 07:02
As an ex pilot I always said to the master it was to pilots advice and his orders.

pilot
11th November 2011, 07:51
Originally Posted by Jardine

Would a Pilot benefit from substantial command experience?

Jardine, he should. However to make general sweeping statements. I believe that Pilotage is not for ambitious young men. Pilotage is not an exciting career, satisfying yes, but if it's too exciting, or constantly so, it could be going wrong?
In many cases it is not the path to take by young men who are simply looking for a shore job. More so if the career move to Pilotage is embarked upon because they are not happy with the responsiblity that a senior post at sea brings.

There's more to Pilotage than the hands on training. The way of life in many Pilotage areas means that a pilot's on call 24/7 for his tour of duty this will impinge on his family too. Indeed he may now find that he prefered being at sea, or his family may find they prefered him being at sea!

I would suggest that the more relaxed Pilots I work with are generaly those who have experienced the worry barrier at sea after sailing as Master or Ch. Mate and have lived for many years without the ability to 'phone a friend.
These same Pilots have an easier relationship with the Ship's Master and his bridge team.

Saying that I know many young Pilots who are keen, able, interested and an asset to the Pilotage Service. Dangerous to generalise isn't it?

Rgds,

woodend
11th November 2011, 08:45
I was one of the last Port Captains in South Africa to hold a Masters' ticket before they changed the position to Harbour Master. We went through the ranks from Mate on the tugs, to Master on the tugs and then to Pilot. Some great Tug Masters did not make good Pilots and the other way round. Now the process is the same but the base qualification is a deep sea watch keeping qualification then tug mate to gain experience over a very short period and up to Master. They are then trained on simulators in the basics of larger ship handling before going with the senior Pilots to gain hands on experience. Then they are examined by the Senior Pilots for a Pilots licence. The sky has not fallen in yet but looking out of my window over the harbour they seem to use more tugs on smaller ships than we did is all I can say. The ships come in and the ships go out which is what is required.

Hugh Ferguson
11th November 2011, 10:54
For me the obvious way to get into pilotage is to have held a command first, because of all the experiance he will gain on how a ship works, but this is a long road.
I am sure i am right in saying that in the past many UK harbour authoities used to send their pilot apprentices to sea to gain this experiance. Although only for a couple of years.
Today many port authorities train their own pilots, or they have experiance in command of harbour tugs.
You have to remember that pilots are piloting ships every day, and a vast range of different ship types, whilst a deep sea vessel may only see a port once or twice a month. Depending on the vessels trade the pilot apprentice will gain more knowledge understuding both the pilot and master of the vessels he visits.

"To have held command first "
That would have been difficult, if not impossible, for anyone serving in a liner company in which you may not have achieved command before age fifty-the cut-off age for acceptance into the Trinity House Pilot Service was thirty five.
I started piloting-in Aden-at age twenty eight!

Pilot mac
11th November 2011, 15:08
Always dificult when recruiting new Pilots and will become more dificult in the future with a dwindling 'ticket' source. For me the ideal candidate is one that has proven ship handling experience of the type of vessel that he would be expected to Pilot. Experience of the District also a distinct advantage.
Dave

Hugh Ferguson
11th November 2011, 15:59
I have often wondered why, after seven voyages in the magnificent Glenroy as second mate, I decided to give it up! In early 1953 we arrived back in London: I went up for master's certificate and Captain Simmonds retired-the next time I went aboard that ship was to pilot her into Aden two years later.

It has to be said that Captain Simmonds-a man for whom I had the highest regard-was not comfortable, shall we say, when having to manoeuvre his ship.
I have in mind one instance, a day in a fairly crowded Singapore anchorage, trying to find a safe anchorage, a performance that left a lot to be desired. Not to place an over emphasis on it I can recall the Chinese Tomolo coming off the fo'c'stle, where he had been on stations for ten times longer-not to mention the engineers- than was really necessary, muttering, "wa for, makee tly compass"!
I think it might have been then that I decided to go piloting.

Jardine
11th November 2011, 18:31
"To have held command first "
That would have been difficult, if not impossible, for anyone serving in a liner company in which you may not have achieved command before age fifty-the cut-off age for acceptance into the Trinity House Pilot Service was thirty five.
I started piloting-in Aden-at age twenty eight!


It appears that you were caught up in the Blue Funnel belief that there were no other companies out there. I left BF as Fourth Mate because of the very reason you make. There were many of us left and joined various HK outfits where command was to be expected in ones early 30s. This left plenty of time to pursue Piloting in various parts of the world if that is what you wanted.
My own thoughts are that command experience whilst not essential is preferable as there is always the Master who asks 'that question'.

Hugh Ferguson
11th November 2011, 21:02
You could not be more mistaken, Jardine. Here are just a small sample of about fifteen letters of rejection I received from premier shipping companies to whom I applied for apprenticeship in 1943.

Jardine
11th November 2011, 21:20
I think you have misread my post. I was suggesting that there were some of us in BF and no doubt in other 'premier' companies who did not want to wait around. As a young man in my early twenties I decided that HK was where I wanted to be. Continuous trade in the Far East was interesting, to say the least.

joebuckham
11th November 2011, 21:31
It appears that you were caught up in the Blue Funnel belief that there were no other companies out there. I left BF as Fourth Mate because of the very reason you make. There were many of us left and joined various HK outfits where command was to be expected in ones early 30s. This left plenty of time to pursue Piloting in various parts of the world if that is what you wanted.
My own thoughts are that command experience whilst not essential is preferable as there is always the Master who asks 'that question'.

most places, where you would want to be a pilot, usually had an upper age limit , mostly early to mid thirties, time to train and gain more and more experience in that port over the years.
why should it matter that 'there is always a master who asks 'that question'' as long as you do your job safely

Jardine
11th November 2011, 22:22
most places, where you would want to be a pilot, usually had an upper age limit , mostly early to mid thirties, time to train and gain more and more experience in that port over the years.


Thats subjective, and probably applies to working in the UK. I can assure you that there are many Pilot districts in the Middle and Far East that would consider you too young at that age. That was certainly the case in the 60s/70s.

John Dryden
11th November 2011, 22:48
Sure is a contentious issue and what with time and tide,next port and dodgy charts to contend with safe pilotage was the paid way to get in to and out of a port.
Not always ,of course in, every port is different.

pilot
12th November 2011, 06:02
I think you have misread my post. I was suggesting that there were some of us in BF and no doubt in other 'premier' companies who did not want to wait around. As a young man in my early twenties I decided that HK was where I wanted to be. Continuous trade in the Far East was interesting, to say the least.

Similar story here Jardine. Left Brocklebanks with my Mates Ticket. Did not want to hang around as you said.

In my case joined a tanker company and was Master at 30. A route taken by many in the late 60's, early 70's when the writing was more than on the wall.

Rgds.

pilot
12th November 2011, 06:08
You could not be more mistaken, Jardine. Here are just a small sample of about fifteen letters of rejection I received from premier shipping companies to whom I applied for apprenticeship in 1943.

Hugh,

Given the year I find those letters amazing! Could it be that the M.N. was considered preferable to the armed forces hence the waiting list mentioned?

Rgds.

Pilot mac
12th November 2011, 09:27
Hugh, great nostalgic letters, wish I had kept all my bits and pieces! Your timing was all wrong Hugh, the opportunities were not around in your time. Similar to 'Pilot' and 'Jardine' I left a 'traditional' company for working class outfits that gave me command at 28 and then on into Pilotage. Interesting comments regarding age profiles of Pilots, whilst drawing up a shortlist of our last vacancy the leading contendor was aged 60 (proven track record) but he was ousted by a young gun (aged 50) who had a similar track record but held a superior ticket (Class 1) .

regards
Dave

Hugh Ferguson
12th November 2011, 10:40
Here's a few more historic documents with apologies to Jeff for changing the subject somewhat!
I eventually resolved the problem by taking myself off to Liverpool, where a retired seafaring uncle of mine lived. His bank manager knew Brian Heathcote (Blue Funnel manager) and he assisted me to get an interview for entry into the company-a long story which I will not bore you with now.

Pilot mac
12th November 2011, 11:25
Great historic stuff Hugh, interesting that all the letters refer to 'apprenticeships'
apart from Blue Star where it is 'Cadetship'. Do you think Clan Line were offended in thinking they were managed by Bank LKine?
Dave

Hugh Ferguson
12th November 2011, 11:58
Even the Shipping Federation (The Pool) had nothing to offer! Regarding the thought that a lot were trying to get into the M.N. in order to avoid conscription: I don't think that was the case. About the time I was applying the Blue Funnel Line had just lost its 48th ship! There fatality list amounted to 9% of all personnel; so you can appreciate that there were an awful lot of people awaiting another ship.

John King
11th December 2011, 12:03
Pilots at Richards bay and Durban don't know about cape town are taken out by helicopter when ship is at pilot station and they are given 1hrs notice if at anchour. Jk

John King
11th December 2011, 12:11
Above refers to posts 139 and 143 sorry about that not used to posting Jk

Deepdredge
13th December 2011, 18:10
Hi

As a practising Pilot a major UK port the term To Masters Orders and pilots Advice requires clarification.

Uk Pilotage act as far as I understand requires the Ships Master when transiting a compulsory pilotage district to hand over the con of the vessel to the authorised pilot. Simply speaking although the Master remains in command and has the option of reliving the pilot if he deems him incompetent, the pilot is for all intents and purposes has full conduct of the vessel to determine course and speed, and manoeuvre as appropriate. So in the UK the statement Pilots advice is incorrect, Pilots orders should be entered into the log book.
This brings one neatly along to incompetence, there is an obvious definition, but others could include, heart attack (rather extreme) or related health issue, stuck in loo (it’s happened but not to me) and so on.
But should the Master relive the Pilot for incompetence in his opinion, and then proceeds to run ship aground or incident of any description then his defence in court is by definition on very thin ice.


Regards

deepdredge

BAROONA
19th December 2011, 09:16
I have been a pilot 30 years in three districts, in three counties.
My take on this is based on my reading of the Law of Pilotage is

There are three distinct things:-

1. The Master is in command of the ship
2. The Pilot has the conduct of the ship
3. there is mutual respect and co operation between the Master and his Pilot

I point out to young pilots that its a bit like getting your house re wired by a qualified electrician. Its your house, you own it and you are responsible for it. The electrician understands and is qualified to do the wiring. You as house owner and he as electrician work together.

That's how I see it.

Its most important that the Master and the Pilot work together, 99.9 % thats what happens. **** of course does happen but neither the pilot or the master got out of bed that morning intending to stuff it up

Ian Brown
20th December 2011, 07:29
Hi

As a practising Pilot a major UK port the term To Masters Orders and pilots Advice requires clarification.

Uk Pilotage act as far as I understand requires the Ships Master when transiting a compulsory pilotage district to hand over the con of the vessel to the authorised pilot. Simply speaking although the Master remains in command and has the option of reliving the pilot if he deems him incompetent, the pilot is for all intents and purposes has full conduct of the vessel to determine course and speed, and manoeuvre as appropriate. So in the UK the statement Pilots advice is incorrect, Pilots orders should be entered into the log book.
This brings one neatly along to incompetence, there is an obvious definition, but others could include, heart attack (rather extreme) or related health issue, stuck in loo (it’s happened but not to me) and so on.
But should the Master relive the Pilot for incompetence in his opinion, and then proceeds to run ship aground or incident of any description then his defence in court is by definition on very thin ice.


Regards

deepdredge

But there's the problem for Masters... Should the Master NOT relieve the Pilot for incompetence in his opinion and then proceeds to run the ship aground or an incident of any description then his defence in court is by definition on very thin ice.

Jardine
21st December 2011, 21:00
We are all familiar with the various acts and conventions relating to Pilotage but one thing remains the 'The Master is in Charge'. I have heard of very very fe occasions where the Pilot is held liable for any acts of incompetence he may have made.
The concept of 'servant of the owner' was very nearly tested in the 'Sea Empress' incident by John Fredriksen but the ports settled out of court and JF walked away with a smile on his face.
Pilots have always enjoyed a 'bullet proof' existence, I know I did five years myself. I am aware that there are a few exceptions but not many.

Pat Kennedy
29th December 2011, 11:25
I watched a very intertesting programme yesterday on the 'Quest' channel, in the Mighty ships series.
This one concerned a heavy lift ship, the Beluga Bremen, loading some large pieces of machinery in Shanghai, and taking them to a port in the Dominican Republic called Samana. The programme showed the loading process, and then the passage through the Panama Canal.
It seemed that there is a new goldmine starting up in Samana and this was the destination of the machinery.
Nobody on Beluga Bremen had been to Samana before, and on arrival they called the local pilot service.
The pilots, two of them, arrived, twenty minutes late, by which time the ship was progressing up the fairway.
It soon became apparent that neither of the pilots, resplendent in gold braid, had any clue about bow thrusters, or indeed, about lining up to go alongside the jetty.
In the end, the German captain of the ship ordered the two pilots to stand aside, and took his ship alongside without their input. Very impressive he was too.
well worth watching if you can find a repeat.
regards,
Pat

Barrie Youde
12th March 2012, 09:34
The unusual case of the coaster Anna Merryl (Grimsby Magistrates' Court 2002) might just be of interest here.

The analogy drawn by Baroona at #228 (householder/electrician) is most helpful in explaining (to anybody who might have difficulty in understanding) the difference between having the command of something and having the conduct of something. To any mariner the difference is readily understood.

The unusual nature of the Anna Merryl case was, however, that her master held a full pilot's authorisation (not merely a PEC) for the Humber. On learning that the vessel was intending to sail from a certain berth on the Humber at a certain time, the Humber Harbour Authority ordered the master to take a pilot. A pilot was despatched to join the ship at her berth. The master refused to allow the pilot on board and sailed the vessel himself.

The Harbour decided to prosecute the master for an alleged contravention of Section 15 of the 1987 Pilotage Act in sailing without a pilot, even though there was no dispute that the master held a full Section 3 Pilotage Act authorisation. The case was heard at Grimsby Magistrates' Court. On consideration of the Section 31 statutory definition of a pilot (the first limb of which is that he is "a person not belonging to a ship") the Master pleaded guilty to the offence: because he accepted the further fact that, by any definition a master "belongs" to his ship. Otherwise the master is not in command of anything.

The point which the case establishes very neatly is that no man can be both master and pilot of any ship at one and the same time.

In disposing of the case the Court took a further interesting line. The fine imposed on the master was relatively lenient. As to prosecution costs (which a convicted defendant is also usually liable to pay) the Harbour Authority submitted a very large bill, the vast bulk of which the Court in its wisdom ordered the Harbour Authority to pay. It is a fundamental principle of Court costs that their disposal is always at the discretion of the Court, whatever might have been the strict legal outcome.

Barrie Youde
12th March 2012, 10:43
As to the position of a pilot being "bullet-proof" (as mentioned some time ago in one of the earlier posts in this thread), if that ever was the case in the past then it is no longer the case today. The recent cases of Cosco Busan at San Francisco and a collision case in Hong Kong (resulting in a hefty jail-sentence for the pilot in each case) remove any doubt on the point.

The increasing criminalisation of mariners in consequence of the odious growth in the culture to find blame are facts of life which no practitioner can afford to ignore.

Barrie Youde
12th March 2012, 11:04
In confirmation of the growth in the blame culture (bearing in mind also the householder/electrician analogy - which might equally extend to patient/doctor or client/lawyer or several other examples) a plumber was convicted recently of manslaughter by negligence, following the faulty fitting of heating equipment, in consequence of which fumes escaped and a death was caused.

Civil liability (with possible financial consequences) in such cases is long established. The alarming development in all walks of life including pilotage (and ship-command) is in the criminalisation of people for unintended error.

Barrie Youde
12th March 2012, 11:11
With my apolgies if the last three posts begin to sound like a speech!

Binnacle
12th March 2012, 12:05
As master I would have considered it insulting to the OOW if I had advised the pilot to "take charge". My understanding is under the Merchant Shipping Acts the person whose name has been entered on the ship's register is in charge (unless a foreign law is applicable). In my experience, in pilotage waters, the normal practices of seamen were observed and every cooperation was given to the pilot in the safe navigation of the vessel.

Barrie Youde
12th March 2012, 12:27
Hi, Binnacle,

I agree entirely.

Where multiple responsibilities are involved in co-operation with each other, the question "Who's in charge" becomes simply mischievous.

lakercapt
12th March 2012, 12:43
But there's the problem for Masters... Should the Master NOT relieve the Pilot for incompetence in his opinion and then proceeds to run the ship aground or an incident of any description then his defense in court is by definition on very thin ice.

When we received our certificates of competence from the various issuing authorities e.g. Master, mate etc it was my understanding that they could be withdrawn if you were found to be incompetent.
Are pilots under the same mandate as I thought they were issued by local not government authority?
I have on occasion countermand a pilot when in my view he was making a mistake but did not consider that incompetence as we have all made given the wrong order at times.

Barrie Youde
12th March 2012, 12:54
Section 3(5) (a) of the 1987 Pilotage Act provides that a pilotage authorisation may be suspended or revoked for incompetence.

Barrie Youde
12th March 2012, 13:51
As to whether a pilotage authorisation is a local or a governmental thing, the power to issue an authorisation is given by parliamentary Act to a local harbour authority in support of (and in consequence of) the duty imposed upon the harbour authority (by the same Act) to determine whether or not pilotage should be compulsory in its area. Without the duty (and therefore the power) created by the Act to determine whether or not pilotage should be compulsory, a harbour authority would have no power to impose compulsory pilotage on shipping at all. Thus, all UK pilotage law derives from parliamentary Act ; and the role of the harbour authority is therefore as an agent of central government (whose function it is to administer the parliamentary Act).

Were it not for the maintenance of the parliamentary Act, any pilotage authorisation would be meaningless (except perhaps where pilotage is voluntary). An important point (as the Sea Empress judgment makes clear) is that where a harbour authority determines that pilotage should be compulsory and financial charges should be levied against ships in that regard-without any option in the matter - then the highest possible standards are called for.

In a nutshell, that is how it works.

Hugh Ferguson
12th March 2012, 15:16
Click HERE (www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?t=25907&page=4#78) for a bit of oil company propaganda which presents a travesty of the way in which pilotage is usually conducted. My, now deceased, friend and colleague was disgusted at the way in which he had been used.
Page 78 is the relevant post.

Barrie Youde
12th March 2012, 15:25
Hi, Hugh,

I hope that the pilot had the wit to respond, loudly and clearly, "YES, YOU SHOULD STEER 270"!

randcmackenzie
12th March 2012, 23:29
The unusual case of the coaster Anna Merryl (Grimsby Magistrates' Court 2002) might just be of interest here.

The analogy drawn by Baroona at #228 (householder/electrician) is most helpful in explaining (to anybody who might have difficulty in understanding) the difference between having the command of something and having the conduct of something. To any mariner the difference is readily understood.

The unusual nature of the Anna Merryl case was, however, that her master held a full pilot's authorisation (not merely a PEC) for the Humber. On learning that the vessel was intending to sail from a certain berth on the Humber at a certain time, the Humber Harbour Authority ordered the master to take a pilot. A pilot was despatched to join the ship at her berth. The master refused to allow the pilot on board and sailed the vessel himself.

The Harbour decided to prosecute the master for an alleged contravention of Section 15 of the 1987 Pilotage Act in sailing without a pilot, even though there was no dispute that the master held a full Section 3 Pilotage Act authorisation. The case was heard at Grimsby Magistrates' Court. On consideration of the Section 31 statutory definition of a pilot (the first limb of which is that he is "a person not belonging to a ship") the Master pleaded guilty to the offence: because he accepted the further fact that, by any definition a master "belongs" to his ship. Otherwise the master is not in command of anything.

The point which the case establishes very neatly is that no man can be both master and pilot of any ship at one and the same time.

In disposing of the case the Court took a further interesting line. The fine imposed on the master was relatively lenient. As to prosecution costs (which a convicted defendant is also usually liable to pay) the Harbour Authority submitted a very large bill, the vast bulk of which the Court in its wisdom ordered the Harbour Authority to pay. It is a fundamental principle of Court costs that their disposal is always at the discretion of the Court, whatever might have been the strict legal outcome.

Hello Barrie.

Would I be correct in supposing that this incident took place during a fairly bitter dispute, and that the master was a pilot who had resigned, whereas the appointed pilot was a 'new hire'? For lack of a better term.

B/R

Barrie Youde
13th March 2012, 00:16
Hi, Roddy,

Correct on all points except one. The incident happened during a strike of pilots, in which the Master was taking part. He had not resigned his pilot's authorisation.

Wallace Slough
13th March 2012, 00:59
As to the position of a pilot being "bullet-proof" (as mentioned some time ago in one of the earlier posts in this thread), if that ever was the case in the past then it is no longer the case today. The recent cases of Cosco Busan at San Francisco and a collision case in Hong Kong (resulting in a hefty jail-sentence for the pilot in each case) remove any doubt on the point.

The increasing criminalisation of mariners in consequence of the odious growth in the culture to find blame are facts of life which no practitioner can afford to ignore.

Barrie

I would certainly agree with your reference to a pilot's no longer being "bullet-proof" after the Cosco Busan case. While I totally agree with the culpability of the pilot in this case, it was the first case I'm aware of wherein a pilot was sentenced to jail time for an error in judgement in U.S. waters. In addition to jail time, this pilot has incurred hefty attorney fees and potential financial liability for his actions. This case has changed piloting and a pilot's individual liability forever in my opinion.

I also recognize that however vigilant a pilot may be, he can still have damage. The potential financial liability as a result of this case was a major factor in my deciding to retire at the end of 2010.

Barrie Youde
13th March 2012, 08:07
Hi, Wallace,

Many thanks. Whenever anybody asks me if I miss life as a pilot, my response is that I miss the life as I knew it but I do not miss the life of today's pilot at all. Their lot is a most unenviable one. Far more is required of them than was ever required of me.

Hugh Ferguson
13th March 2012, 11:48
Hi, Hugh,

I hope that the pilot had the wit to respond, loudly and clearly, "YES, YOU SHOULD STEER 270"!

He was the most unassuming, uncontentious bloke you could ever meet; a Captain RNR and the last person to take offence, but this set-up-for that is what it was-made him very angry and determined never to get involved in anything like that ever again.

Barrie Youde
13th March 2012, 12:18
Hi, Hugh,

This sounds both unfortunate and unedifying - and surprising that a chap of his qualities should have become involved in such nonsense (misrepresentation?)at all.

I remember (with other pilots) once seeing a film during a training course in which there was a scene similar to that which you describe. One of my colleagues exclaimed "That's not a pilot! That's a bloody actor!"

Barrie Youde
13th March 2012, 12:21
I should add that the man who made the outburst on seeing the film was, likewise, one of the most unassuming, uncontentious and modest men I have ever met.

rcraig
15th March 2012, 18:37
In confirmation of the growth in the blame culture (bearing in mind also the householder/electrician analogy - which might equally extend to patient/doctor or client/lawyer or several other examples) a plumber was convicted recently of manslaughter by negligence, following the faulty fitting of heating equipment, in consequence of which fumes escaped and a death was caused.

Civil liability (with possible financial consequences) in such cases is long established. The alarming development in all walks of life including pilotage (and ship-command) is in the criminalisation of people for unintended error.

Are you suggesting that the plumber should not have been prosecuted in this case? If he acted in such a way, that he carried out his work in such a manner as to ignore the consequences of his actions, and someone died as a result, I would have had no problem at all in pursuing such a prosecution north of the border.. Indeed, I would consider it a dereliction of duty to behave otherwise. I appreciate criminal law differs here but the basic principles of addressing criminal activities remain the same.

If it happened in Scotland, and someone culpably and recklessly by omission or acting, caused death, he would be liable for prosecution for culpable homicide. Nothing much to do with a blame culture.

You could extend your proposition to road traffic offences. Would you not prosecute someone who killed a person on the road simply because of an "unintended" error? Few people commit intended errors and even fewer intend to kill. Death by "careless" driving applies in both jurisdictions. Why should a plumber or anyone else be treated differently?