Deep Sea Pilots

Good news for Deep Sea pilots has emerged from the IMO where plans to update the 1981 Resolution A.486, which recommends the use of adequately qualified deep-sea pilots in the North Sea, English Channel and Skagerrak, are underway.

Recognising the important role Deep Sea Pilots have in enhancing “the effectiveness of the Bridge Team for the safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment”, the Resolution includes  the following factors to be taken into account when considering the use of a Deep-Sea Pilot:

1. The familiarity of the Bridge Team with the congested waters of the English Channel, North Sea and Skagerrak.

2. The proliferation of navigational hazards, such as oil/gas installations and offshore renewable energy installations.

3. The available depth of water in relation to draft, under keel clearance and the essel’s intended route.

4. The possibility of adverse weather conditions and/or poor visibility.

5. The port rotation schedule requirements.

6. The availability of Vessel Traffic Services coverage in the areas to be transited.

7. Any other exceptional circumstances.

An interesting analysis of the use of Deep Sea Pilots with respect to Charter Party agreements is examined in  Ian Timmins’ letter here.


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