Chairman’s Report 2017


Many of us consider pilotage to be a localized industry. However, our practices are often decided by other persons and organisations. The UKMPA attends many meetings to ensure that pilots interests and safety are considered. We work through EMPA at the European Union, and IMPA at IMO. Recently much of our attention has been at a national level. The Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) and Guide to Good Practice (GTGP) have been reviewed with considerable UKMPA input. Regardless of the fact that they are not mandatory, they are the standard to which ports will be held to account. Pleasingly the Pilots Embarkation and Disembarkation Code is now appended to the GTGP. This Code, originally drafted by Peter Russell a London pilot, has been reviewed many times over the years to keep it up to date with new practices and developments. During its most recent review the UKMPA (led by Nick Lee, Chairman of the Tech Committee) was joined by the UK Harbourmasters’ Association, British Ports Association, UK Major Ports Group and MCA. Of particular note, a new clause has been introduced to the code

4.12 If the ladder presented is noncompliant, or a near miss incident occurs during the transfer, an appropriate report must be made immediately to the CHA/MCA.
A noncompliant ladder must not
be used until the noncompliance
is rectified.

A recent communication from the MCA to the UKMPA, regarding a noncompliant vessel reinforced this clause. “I’m also mindful that the hapless pilots shouldn’t have to make the call in such or similar situations, however, to really lend the issue of personnel-safety due credibility it will be very beneficial if they do take a tough stand, consistently and collectively, and simply refuse to board if circumstances of the case
do permit so.”

Please do your part, by becoming familiar with the pilot ladder requirements and the revised code. Both can be found on the UKMPA website Please report any deficiencies to us, we will strive to advise the next port and
also follow it up with the MCA.

The UKMPA communicates with its members through a number of different channels.

Round robin emails and circulars are sent for local distribution to active members via the Local Secretaries. The UKMPA also uses social media streams such as Twitter @ukpilots and the Linkedin UKMPA group to provide instantaneous communication and discussion
about topical issues for those that have signed up. Many of you will
also be familiar with the revamped UKMPA website
and also the websites of IMPA and EMPA All these websites contain a wealth of information that will be both of interest and a source of useful information.

For many, the Pilot Magazine remains the prime channel of communication. Regrettably, due to rising production and distribution costs this will in future be reduced to two editions per year. You may notice a slightly different format this issue. There will

be an increased emphasis on local contributions. Pilots frequently are the focus of local interest stories. Such examples are the recovery of redundant oil platforms on the Tees and the excellent cooperation between pilots and the RN regarding the new aircraft carrier at Rosyth and Portsmouth. In order to keep the UKMPA website and magazine fresh and relevant, the webmaster and magazine editor would welcome any port, pilotage or shipping related news that you have. These can be either locally relevant issues or larger events. Additionally, technical items of interest, either observed in the media or original papers would also be most welcome. Please send any items of interest to or

At the time of writing I am preparing for the UKMPA Conference at Middlesborough. As well as welcoming many UK pilots we will also be joined by pilot colleagues from Italy, France, Netherlands, New Zealand and Canada. The following UKMPA conference will be held in Bristol in May 2018.

There are a number of other dates to put in your diary. The IMPA conference will be held in Dakar, Senegal from 22nd to 27th April 2018. In May 2019 the UKMPA will be hosting the EMPA Conference in Liverpool. International conferences are an excellent opportunity to meet with pilots from all over the world. It is often the case that the UK has one of the largest number of delegates. Liverpool 2019 will offer you the chance to sample one of these events. It will coincide with the UKMPA conference. It is hoped that as many of you as possible will be able to join us, in what should prove to be an exceptional conference as well as an opportunity to celebrate Manchester Pilots’ 125th anniversary.

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