Technical and Training

Book Review: Navigating the Human element

Nav human cover


For several decades the importance of the Human Element has become an increasingly integral part of all aspects of professional maritime training.  Read the rest of this entry »

Magnetic Pilot Ladder Securing system


Dutch company PTR Holland BV has produced a magnetic pilot ladder securing system which would seem to provide a quick and efficient method of securing the pilot ladder to the ship’s side in accordance with SOLAS Ch.V specifically designed to make life safer for pilots. Read the rest of this entry »

Whither Towage: John Clandillon-Baker

The Paddle Tug

JMW Turner: The Fighting Temeraire being towed to Rotherhithe for scrapping in 1838. 

The relationship between UK pilots and towage goes back to the 1830’s when the concept of attaching a specially designed small vessel to tow bigger ships was first introduced into Britain.

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Let’s injure a “tuggie” !! JCB

Like most things in the shipping world as ships have got bigger, officers, crews, pilots and tug skippers have had to adapt their skills to cope with new challenges to achieve successful ship handling outcomes. Read the rest of this entry »

Piloting the “A” Class Nuclear Submarines Graham Wood (Barrow – in – Furness)

We are all used to being faced with new challenges in piloting as new trades and ship types arrive to test our versatility but very few of us are expected to pilot a totally new vessel constructed in secret with unknown handling characteristics in full view of the world’s media! Read the rest of this entry »

ECDIS Update Kevin Vallance

At the time of writing, the US navy is suffering the embarrassment of having pictures of it’s minesweeper USS Guardian hard aground on the Tubbataha coral reef in the Philippines beamed around the world by the media. Read the rest of this entry »

Technical & Training Committee: Jonathan Mills, Chairman T&TC

The UKMPA Technical & Training Committee (T&TC) continues to be one of the most important groups within the UKMPA. The last meeting was held on board the HQS Wellington on the 15th November. Read the rest of this entry »


“Good morning control centre, this is the pilot speaking, I’ve just boarded so can you activate the coffee machine please?”

I can recall that back in 1969 when I was a pre-sea apprentice and America landed a man on the moon the concept of unmanned ships proceeding between ports was a topical subject in the maritime press. Read the rest of this entry »


The tug Fairplay 1 capsized under the bow of the passenger ship Italia.            Photo: Jan Mordhorst

Every day pilots handle ships with the aid of tugs and whilst the vast majority of the manoeuvres pass off safely’ such operations  are inherently  dangerous and tragically when tug operations do go wrong they almost inevitably end up with a loss of life to the tug crew. Read the rest of this entry »

ECDIS A Deep Sea Pilot’s View Kevin Vallance MNI (member UKMPA T&TC)

All British deep sea pilots have a minimum of five years’ command experience, hold a valid Master Mariners certificate and are licensed annually by Trinity House. Read the rest of this entry »

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