1. Pilotage service
All over the world in every maritime country the pilotage service has been established. It’s a service which renders a pilot assistance. Pilot is a qualified and experienced navigator in a special. So that the pilotage service contains the pilot station where pilots are waiting for they ordering, then there are special pilot boats which are necessary to carry a pilot to the vessel and special communication equipment which is used for ordering a pilot by vessels. The pilotage service is usually owned by government, besides there are pilot services run by the private corporations, shipping companies that are under strict control of the government.
Surely the pilotage is not compulsory in every area. Usually it’s compulsory in waters difficult of access, like entering or leaving the port passing through the channel, up or down the river. In easily accessible waters the pilotage can be optional, recommended or just available. So in this case the captain makes a decision about ordering a pilot. If a Master knows this area well he can proceed himself and sometimes his company pays him extra money which were assigned for a pilot. But if a Master considers he needs assistance of pilot, he can order the pilot the following way:
2. Procedure of ordering a pilot.
There are a various means of ordering a pilot such as sending a radiogram, using e-mail or telephone, VHF. In daytime the flag “Golf” must be hoisted that means “I require a pilot”. If the weather is foggy the special signals or Morse code can be sounded. In night time the special lights are also used. While ordering a pilot the Master must indicate some necessary information of the vessel like name, type of ship, gross tonnage, and physical characteristics. According this information a pilotage service can choose an available pilot for appropriate vessel. So when a pilot is ordered, the pilot ladder must bi rigged on the lee side. Then an OOW must deliver a pilot to the bridge. First the pilot and the Master should check all documents connecting with pilotage.
3. Documents connecting with pilotage
The first document is a Pilot Card which contains the information about a ship. Also the pilot must produce a pilot license because according the International rules the pilot must be licensed. Then a pilot conn a ship to allocate place. Before disembarking a pilot and Master must fill in a pilotage bill. This document contains the information about ship like gross tonnage, draught, and agent’s name of a ship, captain’s name and signature. Also the pilot must fill in the information at commencement and completion of pilotage and where it started from. When all documents are all right, a pilot must be taken to pilot ladder, where he disembarks to pilot boat. So at this moment the process of pilotage is finished. We can say that a pilotage is a period of time of embarking to disembarking a pilot. During a pilotage in daytime a flag “Hotel” must be hoisted, that means “I have a pilot on board”, and in foggy weather and by night special signals are sounding.
5. Duties of the pilot and the Master during pilotage.
There are so0me duties of the pilot and the Master during pilotage. First the Master must ensure the pilot ladder is safely rigged, the efficient watch considered of OOW, helmsmen and lookout are posted, all navigational aids and publications are available, the ships answers the helm. The Master must be ensured that the pilot is informed about characteristics of ship, ETA. Speaking about the pilot he must board the ship in time, inform the Master about pilotage plan, traffic system in sis region, special character of this area like current, holding ground, weather and tidal conditions. Also a pilot informs about ETA, berth, which side to, tugs.
It’s necessary to know that a pilot is not responsible for a ship during pilotage, he only advises Master in navigation. Anyway the Master must often be sure for safety navigation. If he leaves the bridge the Master must ensure the OOW understands the plan and gives clear instructions.
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