Mars Reports 2013

The Nautical Institute has issued Mars Report No.32 regarding port buoyage and pilotage issues.

The Master of a vessel calling at an important port in southeast Asia reported the following worrying observations about his experience:

Although the chart has a warning regarding accuracy of surveys and use of GPS, many of the navigational aids are either missing, unlit or different from what is marked on the chart. There are also some cardinal buoys and fairway buoys which are either missing or unlit. During our night time departure the Pilot advised to keep a lookout for an unlit fairway buoy to avoid colliding with it. Ultimately, this required altering course to pass through the anchorage and between other vessels rather than around the anchorage. Also during departure, communication between the Pilot and tugs broke down due to faulty radios.

Communication with the Pilot was found to be difficult and fraught with miscommunication and confusion. As if this was not enough, due to a nearby busy navigational bottleneck area, both the port and pilot use VHF 16 as their working channel; needless to say there is a lot of chatter and undesirable communication on this frequency. It was also found that the tugs in use at the port are old and unable to perform adequately. Finally, being open to the bay, certain berths at the port are not adequately protected from the predominant winds and tide rips.

For more information, please click at Mars Report No.32 - Port buoyage and pilotage issues

Source: The Nautical Instute