The UK P&I Club has issued the second of a series on current risk topics with a focus on Master Pilot Exchange highlighting that good communication and team work are vital during pilot operations.
Data claims analysis by the UK Club’s Loss Prevention department for all claims dating back to 1987 revealed the following:
- ‘Human error’ accounts for 58% of all the Club’s claims over US$100,000. 524 of these claims involved ships under pilotage.
- The breakdown of communications on the bridge has been identiﬁed as a major contributing factor in many of them.
- The majority of these incidents include collisions, allisions, groundings (including pollution) and personal injury.
- The average cost of these claims has been decreasing overall. However, the average annual cost to the Club from 1987 remains considerable at $16 million.
There are times when the master may be asked to bring the vessel closer to the entrance to the port, perhaps due to bad weather or because the pilot is still on the way. Whatever the reason, one of the first considerations, if complying, is to ensure that there is still adequate time for the master/pilot exchange to be carried out. The master pilot exchange is the missing piece of the passage plan puzzle and a crucial one, the Club says.
With the pilot onboard it is the opportunity for the master and bridge team to confirm arrangements and ensure that they are satisfied with the planned transit and berthing/unberthing manoeuvre. This is the first and best opportunity to talk to the pilot and to clarify any issues that have been identified during the preparation of the onboard plan. However, it is important to prioritise this process so that the limited time available at the start of the pilotage can be addressed directly and less urgent matters discussed once on route
The UK P&I Club advises the following things for consideration by the bridge team:
The transit to and from the berth
- Route agreed with waypoints and courses, adequate charts
- Speed and timing for the transit
- Local weather and tidal conditions expected
- Vessel movements, any congestion off the berth
- Local traffic regulations to be complied with
- Depth limitations due to tide and/or squat
- Minimum depth on passage
- Local tidal data, heights, slack water and when the direction of flow changes
- Rate and direction of any currents
- Location of turning areas including those required for a berthing manoeuvre
- Abort points
- Emergency or standby anchorage areas
- Number of tugs, their type and power?
- Time of arrival at the vessel?
- Where will the tugs be made fast?
- Ship’s line or tug’s line to be used?
- Any limitations such as the maximum/minimum size of vessel, number of bollards, fender capacity
- Turning areas are of sufficient size
- Available depth alongside at low water
- Any air draught restrictions
- Which is the first line ashore
- Will mooring boats assist
- Mooring plan
- Any berthing aids to assist in determining speed when manoeuvring
- Any berthing speed limits
- Time required to order pilot / tugs in an emergency
- Departure procedures for letting go moorings
The Club has produced a detailed report joinlty with Solis Marine Consultants that help to highlight the findings of the Risk Focus project on Master Pilot Exchange
Source: The UK P&I Club