“Wheel to Midships”: Mike Robarts


This authoritative direction was heard loud and clear during a programme on Quest TV. The voice belonged to Rory Jackson, a Southampton pilot, and ‘Mighty Ships’ was the programme’s title. Here was yet another example of a media presentation of a British pilot at work, allowing viewers a fascinating insight into what a pilot does.

Tonsberg’s Wallenius Welhelmsen, a 265-metre leviathan car-carrier, having steamed into Southampton water and had taken on board a Southampton pilot. Those without any seafaring knowledge could see a quick rapport established between the ship’s Master and the Pilot. It was immediately clear that there was an atmosphere of mutual respect and inter-dependence between these two professionals on the bridge. Rory’s unambiguous but courteous “Begin thrusting to starboard, Captain!” was convincing evidence of this.

There have been several occasions recently when UK pilots at work have featured on television and the radio. Pilots can celebrate the special nature of their work by informing the Editor of any contact with the media, so that a record can be kept and other pilots alerted to tune in to these broadcast instances of what their colleagues are up to.

One Response to ““Wheel to Midships”: Mike Robarts”

Captain Stuart Lawrence
January 10th, 2021 at 14:35

Good afternoon Rory,

I was “buddy watchkeeping for the NCI Gosport Station, on the am Watch of Sunday 10th January, and monitoring the QHM channel 11 when I heard your call from the ??? Helsinki to the QHM requesting Portsmouth Traffic movements.

Please contact me on sjla23@gmail.com



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