The pilot of the cargo vessel Ever Forward, that got stuck in the Chesapeake Bay in 2022, has given up the pilotage license in Maryland and reportedly agreed to never seek one again.
More specifically, information suggests that the pilot of the ship has not piloted a vessel since the grounding happened.
According to local media, the pilot agreed to give up his license in exchange for the Maryland Board of Pilots agreeing to not fine him $2000 or seek other disciplinary action.
As part of the agreement the pilot admitted and consented to the Board’s investigative findings that he failed to use all available means to monitor the Ever Forward ship’s position in time to avoid its grounding.
Recently, the US Coast Guard published its investigation report into the grounding of the cargo ship “Ever Forward” in the Chesapeake Bay, faulting the pilot tasked with helping the ship navigate the waterway.
According to the report, the initiating event for this casualty occurred when the EVER FORWARD grounded. Causal Factors leading to this event were:
Additionally, during the EVER FORWARD’s outbound transit, Pilot 1 placed or received five phone calls from his personal cell phone. AT&T records indicated that the calls totaled approximately 61 minutes of the 126-minute voyage up to the grounding.
The longest personal call placed was over 55 minutes, starting at 1903 and ending at 1958. Pilot 1 also placed a work call regarding the line handler issues that had been previously encountered, something not urgent and unrelated to the current safe navigation of EVER FORWARD.
Further, he sent two text messages at 2007 and 2015, a critical time period leading up to when the turn south into the lower Craighill Channel should have been executed. The Third Officer observed Pilot 1 looking at his phone at 2017, approximately one minute before the vessel ran aground.
Although Pilot 1 did not disclose the purpose of all of the calls, he stated that due to the duration of time pilots are onboard vessels, it is not unusual to complete various personal tasks while underway.
However, when Pilot 2 was interviewed, he stated that he was not in the practice of making personal calls while in transit and would only feel comfortable doing so in an emergency situation.