Incidents & Investigations


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 »


In the April issue’s editorial I expressed concern over the fact that the pilot of the Cosco Busan, John cota, had been charged with and had pleaded guilty to causing pollution. Read the rest of this entry »


Fog pic 1 web

In fog. proceed with caution and obey the COLREGS!                                   Photo: MAIB

Fog has always been one of the elements to cause most concern to the mariner, especially in coastal waters, and in the days before radar the prudent navigator would frequently stop or anchor and wait until the fog cleared before continuing on passage. Similarly, once in pilotage waters, pilots would also anchor and await clearer visibility rather than risk a collision or grounding by continuing on passage. Read the rest of this entry »

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