By: Capt. Sarnbir S.Sawhney, Marine Superintendent
Pilot Boarding is a critical operational and the most frequent operation on Container Ships. The ship is well prepared to embark or disembark the Harbour Pilot’s safely In accordance with SOLAS Regulation V/23 & IMO Resolution A.1045(27)
However, does he make it across every time in spite of the compliance of all regulations? The answer is NO. There are multiple answers to why he cannot make it across from the perspective of operation and external variables. Both, the ship’s Master and Pilot have some sort of commercial pressure that triggers the urgency and induces the risk in this critical process. The Ships Master wants to ensure port rotation is fast whilst the Pilot wants to get the ships in and out of the port quickly.
Being a harbor pilot is quite “treacherous and unpredictable.” The most significant risks are lying are of course in Boarding the Ship and Drowning. Drowning is considered the third leading cause of unintentional death worldwide, accounting for seven percent of all deaths. Claims experience over the last few years includes several injury incidents resulting from embarking and disembarking from a vessel’s pilot ladder. Worldwide, harbor pilots experience an average of 2-3 fatalities per year as a result of transfer accidents.
Along with Thanking the Pilot, my last Words to Mr. Pilots have always been “Be safe and please disembark safely from My Ship Mr.Pilot “. As a Master, one must keep the focus and advise Pilots prior to boarding or disembarking to be safe and avoid hopping on or off your good ship. This part of the process needs to be controlled by the Ship
YES, HE JUST MADE IT ACROSS!!
“Carefulness costs nothing-Carelessness can costs you a life”