Client Alert:

NEW DIRECTIVE FOR SAFER PILOTAGE SERVICES

NEW DIRECTIVE FOR SAFER PILOTAGE SERVICES

The Directorate General for Maritime Affairs has recently announced a Directive Regarding the Safety of Pilotage Services. The Directive follows a number of unfortunate incidents which brought to light the necessity to introduce stricter safety measures with regard to the pilot transfers and pilotage services in general.

In a nutshell, the Directive envisages new rules with respect to the design of the pilot boats from a safety perspective. Some examples are as follows:

  •  Pilot boats shall be designed and equipped in compliance with the national and international regulations and must be capable of operating safely in the most adverse sea and weather conditions.
  •  The angle of view of the pilot boats bridges shall be designed to allow for a clear angle to monitor the pilot transfer points.
  •  Pilot boats shall have flat and high decks without any surrounding bulwarks.
  •  Pilot boats shall be equipped with multiple high definition cameras with night vision capability. Recordings shall be kept for the previous 72 hours.
  •  The pilotage authority may rig one pilot boat with a steel ladder in the shape of a triangle with two corners fixed to the deck and one corner facing upwards and a platform on the bows of the boat in order to ensure that the pilot's ladder is sufficiently high above the sea level and completely clear of the pilot boat in order to ensure safety of the transfer, for use where weather and sea conditions make it imperative.
  •  Pilot boats shall be equipped with submersible man overboard equipment in the form of a rescue net attached to a hydraulic or electric operated davit.

In addition to the above, pilot boats that were issued with building licences after the Directive shall fulfil the following additional requirements:

  •  The propulsion systems of the boats shall be designed to afford protection from the propellers in case there is a man falling overboard.
  •  The angle of view of the boats’ bridges shall be designed to allow for easy monitoring of the pilot transfer points in horizontal plane and the pilot transfer mechanism on the side of the boat in vertical plane.

With respect to the occupational health and safety of pilots, the following requirement are introduced:

  •  Pilots shall use the occupational health and safety equipment such as special work boots, gloves, life jackets, helmets and neck or helmet cameras.
  •  Pilotage service providers shall prepare an “Emergency Action Plan” and “Safety Procedures for Pilot Transfers” and circulate these to the Harbour Masters.
  •  Pilot boat crews shall regularly undergo training on the safety procedures of pilot transfers which shall be renewed at maximum 2-year intervals.
  •  In order to minimize the navigation, life and property risks; pilotage service providers shall perform regular trainings every 3 months with the pilots and pilot boat crews for falling overboard scenarios.

The Directive will come into force on 1 July 2024.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more detailed information on the Directive or if you have any questions.

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