Incidents & Investigations

Narrow Channels: Clyde & Co LLP

Ever collision


In a decision handed down on 13 March 2017, the Admiralty Court agreed with Alexandra 1 interests on the application of rule 9 of the Collision Regulations (Colregs) – the narrow channel rule. Read the rest of this entry »

Houston Pilots (USA) earn IMO’s award for exceptional bravery at sea: Clayton L. Diamond


Photo: gCaptain website

Pilots around the world are counted on twenty four hours a day, three hundred and sixty five days a year to use their skills, in-depth local knowledge and informed independent judgment to safely move all manner of ships through winding, narrow and crowded waterways, often in adverse weather conditions. This is what pilots do – make an extremely challenging and dangerous job look routine. Read the rest of this entry »


Photos : MAIB

It would appear that my Royston Grange article in the October 2011 issue was published just too late to avoid an almost identical collision scenario which features in the latest MAIB digest! Read the rest of this entry »

Pilot Ladders: An Old Rust Bucket?



No. This is the USS Howard,s Pilot ladder!

Recently, the Los Angeles Jacobsen pilot assigned to the USS Howard, a guided missile destroyer stationed in San Diego, experienced the surprise of his life. Read the rest of this entry »

Dangers of Pilotage Deregulation: The “Godafoss”


For years there has been a campaign by ship owners’ lobbyists to deregulate pilotage and extend PEC useage. Read the rest of this entry »



Peter McArthur’s article on ship hydrodynamics reminded me of the Royston Grange tragedy on the River Plate in 1972 which was most likely caused by a combination of bank rejection, interaction and a poorly maintained channel. Read the rest of this entry »

Pilot Overboard


Every pilot’s nightmare is to fall off the ladder whilst boarding and although such incidents are fortunately very rare, tragically  pilot ladder falls result in 1 -2  deaths per year worldwide. Read the rest of this entry »

Criminalisation: A Case History

Despite the rising number of reports coming in from around the World regarding the criminalisation of seafarers in general and pilots in particular there are still many pilots who believe themselves to be invincible and consider legal defence insurance unnecessary ! Read the rest of this entry »

APL Sydney: Another worrying case?

APL Sydney                            Photo: ATSB

As mentioned in my editorial, shore authorities nvestigating maritime incidents are seemingly blurring the delineation between civil & criminal law in seeking to condemn seafarers. Although this case hasn’t led to any criminal proceedings the following article, which has been collated from several press reports of this incident, suggests that pilots need to be very alert to this worrying trend. Read the rest of this entry »

A Pilot Praised!

MV Pacific Dawn Photo: Unknown from web

All in a day’s work

With shipping and seafarers generally being associated with negative press reports it is extremely rare for a positive shipping report to appear in any of the mainstream press. It is therefore with pleasure that I came across the following press report from Brisbane.Pilots face similar “challenges” on a daily basis so it’s good to see at least one pilot being praised for his skills in averting a disaster. However what is most alarming is the cause. A fuse affected by a salt water leak?? JCB Read the rest of this entry »

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