Section Committee


Having been offered a stand at this year’s SeaWork Exhibition, held at Southampton on the 16th – 18th June, the UKMPA were well represented with chairman Joe Wilson, Jim Richie, Matt Winter, Kevin Constable, Mike Robarts. Manning the UKMPA stand. Other pilots visited the stand and greatly assisted in keeping the bar afloat!

Seawork pic 1

L – R Martin Phipps, Matt Winter, Kevin constable & Mike Robarts

There was a full programme for the 3-day event which included the Annual General Meeting of the UK Harbour Masters’ Association, together totalling some 500 delegates. Of interest to pilots is that OMC won the civil engineering award for their “In Transit Real Time Dynamic Under Keel Clearance System.

This annual event is rapidly gaining international recognition and despite the recession attendance was well up on last year.

Legal opinion: Piloting oversize vessels


Following the HA’s taking over rrsponsibility for aothorising pilots following the 1987 Pilotage Act, many districts retained the authorisation structure and wording from the Trinity House authorisations. Read the rest of this entry »

121st UKMPA Conference Report


This year the conference was a one day event held on board the HQS Wellington and was attended by 39 pilots from 15 districts. Read the rest of this entry »


Never before has the profession of the Maritime Pilot been subject to such trials and tribulations. Read the rest of this entry »


PIANC : Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses.

What’s this?

A new Day, another acronym! The title gives the impression that PIANC is a just another navigation forum but it is actually a highly specialised group of experts that looks at channels and how ships behave within them. The vast majority of PIANC’s work is undertaken by the boffins who have produced wonderfully complex formulae to cover the infinite variety of vertical and horizontal parameters with respect to block coefficients of ships, speeds and under keel clearances etc. Obviously this work is of great relevance to pilots and pilotage so fortunately, London pilot and Section Committee member, Don Cockrill has been made a full member of the “horizontal” working group, as part of his UKMPA IMPA portfolio. The following is edited from Don’s report and the minutes from the meeting. JCB

Working Group 49 meeting, October 2007

The working group is undertaking a revision of the WG 30 report published in 1997 which is basically the industry design bible for fairway and channel design. WG 30 had input from IMPA via Tony Boddy (retired Trinity House, London North).

One new aspect has been the introduction of risk assessment methodology and one member has produced a paper on risk and published studies that presented accident frequency and concepts of acceptable risk levels and all were agreed that this needs to be incorporated into the report.

IALA have been invited to join the group since they have expertise in information systems on positioning and navigation but it was decided that WG49 should not consider the design and implementation of fairway navigation aids because it was such a large and complex subject and a separate sub group may be formed to examine this aspect. However it was agreed that the relationship between navaids and fairway dimensions must be mentioned in the WG49 final report with reference to relevant IALA guidelines.

It was also agreed that the WG had a professional responsibility to ensure that any guidance given would result in safe channel dimensions, which, consequently, would be likely to be conservative (greater than the actual minimum required). It was also noted that in most cases, the existing WG30 guidance provides good conceptual design estimates of channel width requirements when the method is applied correctly but it needed to be made clear that the guidelines only provide a preliminary indication of fairway dimensions and that a detailed design process is required to optimise the fairway for the specific site/purpose. Don Cockrill raised the issue of skill levels of the mariners handling vessels in confined waterways because whilst pilots were experienced in such navigation, narrow channel navigation was outside the experience of the non piloted “bridge team”. It was therefore agreed that there may be some merit to including some parameters related to the skill of the vessel operator in the guidance. Other factors, including the use of escort towage may result in a modification of the existing method using the ship’s beam. Practical tests involving those experienced in narrow channel navigation should also be used to test the concepts.

Don’s report:-

The involvement of a pilot in this project is essential in that the WG is made up entirely of erudite hydrodynamic scientists, designers and engineers who by their own admission have very limited knowledge and understanding of the realities and practical aspects of ship navigation, handling and pilotage which are all directly impacted by the results of their work. IMPA therefore had great impact in the document by introducing the concept of the human factors aspect of shipping and pilotage in its many forms and a reference to the need for channel design to take into account the skill of the ship navigator in confined waters etc.

I have a short work list of specialist paragraphs to write and or contribute to on a variety of subjects. Any references, views, opinions, local experiences or other relevant input you may have which would possibly be of assistance to me in compiling concise and useful contributions to the project would be most gratefully received, preferably by the end of December.

Subjects I am specifically covering are:

1. The size and location of Pilot Boarding areas.

2. Helicopter pilot boarding operations with particular regard to ship manoeuvring space required.

3. Escort towage – how the use of escort tugs may impact on the design width of a channel.

4. Manoeuvring areas – Impact on required size of area in relation to tug use.

5. Tug operational rules and how they may affect channel design widths.

6. VTS & VTMS -what impact they may have on the design width and depth of a channel.

7. Inboard vessel navigation systems – descriptions, myths and realities!

Note that each item is generally only allocated space for a few hundred words maximum so I am only required to write broad outline descriptions on each with references for detailed information where appropriate.

See page 13

The next meeting is to be held at MARIN, Wargeningen in April 2008.

Don Cockrill. Email:

Section Committtee Retirements. Dave Devey & Paul Haysom

Retirement Dave Devey

David Devey is the archetype pilot. I am privileged to be his contemporary. Of unprepossessing appearance and blunt manner he wins few friends by his more-or-less permanently scowling visage. Read the rest of this entry »

Section Committee 04/06



As detailed in Joe Wilson’s report, Section Committee members continue to work in the interests of the membership. Whilst much of the work is administrative the value of such work is essential in ensuring that our views are presented to the important national and international fora.  Briefly, John Pretswell ensures that all the finances are kept healthy and the requisite returns made on time. Paul Haysom has been continuing his valuable work on the insurances and membership recruitment and the new insurance policies have resulted in interest from potential members.  The Technical and Training Committee continues to cover the many and varied topics within its remit and in particular continue to finalise the ETCS project which is now with the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). The next meeting of the T&T committee is on the 28th April and committee Chairman Gareth Rees will be submitting a report for the July issue.  The most important area of UKMPA involvement at this time is with the DfT in working towards new legislation to replace the 1987 Pilotage act and within the Port Marine Safety Code Working Group (PMSCWG) to oversee compliance issues and the implementation of MAIB recommendations to that group. This diplomatically sensitive task has fallen to Don Cockrill who, along with Brian Wilson, attended two meetings on the 28th March which dealt National Occupational Standards (NOS) and Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PEC).

The following is a resume of Don’s report of proceedings.

NOS meeting – Minutes of previous meeting (16/2/05)

It may be recalled that we submitted significant comment on the minutes of that meeting and I therefore suggested that the minutes should be effectively shelved with a note that the UKMPA disputed the minutes of 16/2/05. This was agreed by all.

Potential outcomes – There then followed what can best be described as intense and lively debate on the way forward. In general there was agreement on the ethos and aims of the NOS and although there was some opposition to the concept of a general mandatory qualification it was generally acknowledged that since the PMSC requires adoption of the NOS then in effect the NOS will be mandatory. There was general discussion and agreement on the concept of any qualification being a type of certificate of competence. This would cover generic matters for Pilots and Harbourmasters as appropriate. For pilots, the CHA authorisation would in effect cover the local components. Discussion also ensued on the value and feasibility of the recently launched MNTB Maritime Foundation Degree as an alternative.

For those who may not be aware it should be realised that a Foundation degree is not of the same standard as a conventional degree. It is more of a standard to be reached which would be regarded as an entry level for a degree course and offering various module exemptions from that course.

Brian explained The UKMPA’S ongoing work within Europe. In particular he detailed the ETCS project and also the ongoing resulting work with EMSA pending EMSA acceptance of ETCS.

Awarding Authority – It was discussed and agreed that in essence that the MCA would be

the awarding authority for the NOS competence certificate but this then involves examination and overseeing issues.  It was generally agreed that the now established V103 VTS model could be appropriate for the NOS certification scheme.

Target dates – We have now been invited to participate in Port Skills and Safety Ltd.  (PSSL) and a meeting has been scheduled by PSSL for 25th May to discuss the maritime certificate scheme and NOS issues.

The MCA proposed an outline target date for the NOS certification scheme to be in place by 2010. The DfT desire a shorter implementation and the UKMPA pointed out that the work was already done in respect of NOS and ETCS and that this working group needed to ensure that the UK system runs in line or indeed leads the European model.

Process Routes – Maritime Foundation

Degree (MFD). – PSSL gave an outline description of the MFD and the Ports leg.  National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) training. – PSSL are keen on this avenue. Their variant is termed VRQ which would encompass all existing qualifications.  It is exam based rather than the “on the job” assessments upon which the current NVQ system is based. The attraction is that it would qualify for government funding. The UKMPA do not consider this appropriate for pilots.

Specifications – It was explained that whatever the system there is a need to take the NOS elements and convert them into specific targets towards a goal. MCA suggested that this should be contracted out to expert educationalists.

Funding – The Dft were asked to fund it on the basis of it being a Dft requirement. I pointed out that the Dft had already funded the work so far and so there was no point in them funding any repetition of the work to date. That went down well with the DfT.  As ever it is a resources issue for the MCA.  Way Ahead – Brian explained that the ETCS EMSA timetable may well dictate the UK intentions.

AOB – There was very little more said. I took the opportunity to repeat points raised more than once during the meeting.

·        That there must be no lowering of current professional standards. I earlier drew the meetings attention of the way in which STCW 95 has lowered standards rather than improving them.

·        That the practical training MUST be done by serving pilots – it is not appropriate for the colleges to have too great a role in all this.

Don Cockrill

Section Committee work

Section Committee’s work

Joe Wilson (Tees): Amendments to the Pilotage Act.

John Pretswell (Forth): Preparing the budget

Geoff Taylor (Tees): As acting President of

IMPA, Geoff’s workload had increased enormously but Geoff had been tireless in attending meetings and seminars around the world promoting the pilotage agenda and making important contacts. Due to his forthcoming retirement Geoff has now stood down from the Section committee.

Peter Wylie (Tees): Was elected as representative

for region 3 at the conference.

Don Cockrill (London): Had also been

tenacious in working with the MCA, DfT and pushing the agenda on pilots National Occupational Standards (NOS) on the PMSC working group.

Dave Devey (Liverpool): Attended the

Harbour Master meetings and was assisting Joe on amendments to the Pilotage Act.  David had also been working on preparations for Kristian Pederson’s claim against ABP for unfair dismissal.

Paul Haysom (Great Yarmouth): Paul had

worked throughout the year in finalizing a new insurance policy to replace the Navigators & General insurance cover that had been withdrawn in 2004.

John Pearn (Milford Haven): Has replaced Kristian Pederson and is responsible for overseeing technical and training issues.  John has also agreed to take over the EMPA brief from Les when Les’ term ended in 2007.


Section Committee 10/05


It is easy for the general membership to forget the vast amount of work undertaken behind the scenes by the Section committee on their behalf.  The following is a brief update on work during the last quarter.

Vice Chairman: Joe Wilson continues administrative work and attends meetings supporting Chairman Les Cate

Treasurer: John Pretswell continues with on-going administration work of Secretary and treasurer, keeping the accounts up to date and preparing budget for 2005 conference.  Finalising the paper work for the PNPF trustee elections for voting in November.

Finalising the paper work for the Section Committee elections for the 2005 conference.

Don Cockrill: Preparing the UKMPA position on the PMSC and National Occupational Standards for pilots for presentation to the MCA working group on standards. Monitoring MAIB reports for items of relevance to UKMPA members. Likewise with IMO papers.

Geoff Taylor: IMPA President Geoff has continued to be tireless as the UKMPA’s “foreign ambassador”! Geoff attended the Biennial Congress of the Canadian Marine Pilots Association and gave a well received presentation. As with all these meetings many important contacts are made on the fringes of the conference and Geoff has established a good working relationship with the secretarygeneral of the IMO, Efthimios Mitropoulos. Geoff ensured that IMPA fully supported the IMO World Maritime Day initiative.  With this year’s theme being “International Shipping, The carrier of World Trade” Geoff successfully arranged for pilots to take a journalist on board for a piloted passage.

Most recently Geoff has attended the Seatrade London International Maritime Convention. All these initiatives have resulted in positive press stories about pilots and pilotage and are slowly helping to break down the “them and us” barriers that all too often exist between pilots and port management. We all have a common interest in ensuring a port’s success.  Paul Haysom: Finalising the insurance policies for presentation to conference for approval.

Kristian Pedersen: The preliminary hearing to consider a full employment tribunal action for unfair dismissal against ABP was successful and a further hearing is set for November. Whilst all this has been going on Kristian has had to find alternative employment and I understand that he has secured a pilotage job in Nigeria. We wish him well. Kristian’s departure has created a vacancy on Section Committee for Region 6 and this has been filled by John Pearn from Milford Haven.

Section committee 07/05


As usual your committee has been working behind the scenes in the interests of members and the following is a brief resume of their work during the last quarter.

Joe Wilson

Has been involved with Barrie Youde in preparing UKMPA’s proposed changes to the Pilotage Act. He has been working on the triennial valuation of the PNPF, and has had meetings with CHIRP, NUMAST and the DfT.

John Pretswell

Dealing with the on-going administration work of Secretary and Treasurer, keeping the accounts and correspondence up-todate along with preparing paper work for the PNPF trustee elections later this year and the Section Committee elections for the 2005 conference.

Don Cockrill

Since April Don has attended meetings with the following bodies as representatives of the UKMPA :-UKSON – where there was a full and varied agenda including offshore renewable energy systems, the Sunk and Minches traf.c routing proposals, an update on the PMSC review of compliance and standards (which to date appears to have stalled for some reason!) and a variety of other matters, all of importance to UK mariners.  NAV51 – attended on the .rst day.

MAIB – professional input into some investigations.

In addition to those meetings Don has taken James Weeden from the DfT on a piloted passage on the Thames and dealt with correspondence on pilotage standards and the PMSC with the DfT & MCA in preparation for the next working group meeting

Paul Haysom

Has had meetings with Ropner and Circle insurers to arrange new cover to replace the previous N&G policy and also bring our insurance policies more in line with current legislation.

Dave Devey – Continues valuable work in support of the HPL Humber pilots and other legal issues.

Kristian Pederson – Kristian is still an authorised pilot for SE Wales but has been suspended by ABP. As reported in the Chairman’s report the UKMPA and T&G are supporting Kristian in a claim against unfair dismissal.


Geoff Taylor

In his role as Senior Vice President of IMPA Geoff has had to deal with the sad death of IMPA President Hein Mehrkens and the following is Geoff’s report on IMPA which of course ties in closely with the UKMPA Section Committee’s agenda:

Some significant aspects have been our efforts to remove the term shore based pilotage from the IALA manual. This has raised concerns in the Netherlands but we shall seek to support our colleagues wherever they operate in asserting that pilotage is an activity that should take place on the bridge anything else is a lesser service and ought not to be defined using the term pilotage. Our activities at IMO are as relevant as ever and we are increasingly supported by pilots in their national delegations. Recent press reports of the new Shipping Minister, Steve Ladyman’s comments on quality echo the cry we have been making for some years- what is needed in the maritime industry at large is not a set of minimum standards but a raft of quality criteria. Let us set the bar at a level that people need to stretch towards rather than duck under. The outsourcing in 1987 of the pilotage standards to a disparate array of CHAS who encompass a whole range of standards from excellent to abysmal is one area he may wish to revisit

at some stage. At the very least it ought to be possible for the PMSC to legislate away

the most minimal levels of pilot qualification and monitoring


Our executive have a couple of committees one of which works on the grandly titled Strategic Governance which should keep us focussed in the future. Our pilot ladder committee is working steadily on a package of measures to take to IMO in the fullness of time.

I had a useful meeting with Deep Sea and Coastal pilot’s Pat Brooks. She now has our policy documents on competition and is fully aware of our reasoned opposition to the EU Ports package- On that topic, we wrote personally to all MEPS with our own position paper in support of EMPA and were relieved to note that large population blocs are beginning to respond in curbing the powers of the unelected commission.  IMO Nav51 was relatively uneventful for us on issues though we watched with interest a battle over the introduction of electronic charts – rather more heat than light was generated! We attend the IMO MEPC as there are three papers on pilotage in relation to Particularly Sensitive Sea Areas (PSSAs). The rules for the creation of PSSAs are being significantly tightened, but those already approved are already through the door. We shall continue to press for a regime which will produce the desired safety outcomes (an end to competition) in Australia. The autumn will see visits to Canada and Uruguay in support of our member and regional associations there.  We can not control all aspects of our world or I would not be doing this job but we can take pride and satisfaction in the fact that many of the world’s pilots (around 9,000) are united under the IMPA banner and our aim is to retain the respect we have gained in past years as a very vital and productive cog in the huge wheel of world trade.


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