Incidents & Investigations

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 »

COSCO BUSAN: Pilot pleads guilty to criminal charges!

Although it occurred in the USA, the Cosco Busan allision with the Bay Bridge in San Francisco will inevitably have relevance to pilotage over here. There is also relevance to this quarter’s feature on piloting in fog. Read the rest of this entry »

PEC Abuse


Earlier this year the Government produced the draft for a Marine Bill which, as well as introducing new legislation to cover the marine environment would also replace the 1987 Pilotage Act. Although we now understand that no Parliamentary time has been allocated for the passage of this Bill in the current legislative programme, the draft was put out to consultation and at the conference the DfT indicated that despite the probable lack of formal legislation, the DfT wished to incorporate the proposals into the Port Marine Safety Code as an interim measure pending parliamentary time for the Bill to be formally incorporated. The consultation process was therefore extremely important and I know that in addition to the UKMPA submission, many pilots submitted individual responses.
One area in particular was of deep concern to pilots and that was the inclusion within the draft of a proposal to remove the requirement for a PEC holder to be the “Bona Fide” Master or Mate of the vessel and to replace it with “any person”! Read the rest of this entry »

Blame & Shame. Letter to Lloyd’s List, Steve Pelecanos

Blame and shame is really just a wasted opportunity

By pure coincidence, at the same time as Dave Williamson wrote his thought provoking article (Pilots under siege?) a letter appeared in Lloyd’s List  written by IMPA Vice President and head of standards and training at the Australian Marine Pilots Association (AMPA), Steve Pelecanos which serves to underline the issues currently being debated by the UKMPA Read the rest of this entry »


Meester pilot where are you? Again!!

You will recall that in 2006 the APL Panama spent a 4 month Holiday on the beach off Port Ensenada in Mexico (Summer 2007 issue). Last September the news had obviously reached Maersk that beach holidays were available in Mexico Read the rest of this entry »

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