The scariest 15 minutes of my life

by Marine-Pilots.com - published -
1402

The scariest 15 minutes of my life
An authentic report by Marine Pilot Capt. Agha Umar Habib (Port of Sohar, Oman) about a dramatic incident on July 23, 2019.

I thank you God
My fall in the water on July 23rd, 2019 was an event which re-affirmed my faith in God. Something I had to bear for someone else’s negligence. I was gratified to my God for not inflicting any mental or bodily harm to me.

The pilot ladder broke - How it happened
I am a Marine pilot in the Port of Sohar, Oman with an experience of more than 13 years in this technical field of pilotage. During my night shift on 23 July 2019 I was on Pilot boat Svitzer, Al-Kharara, to board on m.v. Opal Fortune at 0130 hours. Like any regular day, I geared up as per international safety standard and departed the pilot boat by stepping on the pilot ladder. But, as soon as I stepped on the 3rd step of the pilot ladder I heard rattling voice with the most horrifying realization of falling into the sea due to the broken ladder, which started tumbling down with me resulting into my fall between the ship and the pilot boat.

I swam for my life in darkness
The inflation of life jacket jolted me to the severity of the situation and my instant reflux was to open my both arms to avoid crushing between pilot boat and the ship. This effort gave some scratches on both of my hands. Once I resurfaced, I saw the Ship’s propeller behind me. Immediately I started to swim away from it, as it was churning slowly. By my deliberate and conscious swimming, I was nearly able to miss the propeller. During this swimming effort, I realized that my backpack was hindering my efforts and sinking me down so I immediately took off my bag.

My lucky rescue
Though it was pitch dark but I spotted the broken pilot ladder and a lifebuoy floating beside me. I swam towards the buoy and held it tightly. In the meantime, I saw that pilot boat had turned around and was searching for me. I started shouting “ Ali..Ali” to the crew on pilot boat. This made it possible for the boat crew to locate my position and they went inside the boat to update the Captain (Abu Shaker) regarding my position in water. The Captain tried to bring pilot boat beside me and he succeeded in second attempt. They threw a rope to me which I tied to my arm. After that they pulled me toward the aft of the pilot boat. I used the ladder to climb up the pilot boat. I was later taken to the hospital by the officials and was very well taken care. Presence of my Harbour master and colleagues at the hospital at that hour of the night, was very humbling. I felt much relaxed in their presence. My family was also updated by them which made it easy for them to reach me.

The scariest 15 minutes of my life
Those 15 minutes in the sea, were the scariest of my life as I was not sure of what will happen next or even if I would survive! God’s special blessing it was!!! Thanks to the bearable temperatures of the water in the Gulf of Oman, its low swell and quick response of the pilot boat captain, who switched off its propeller immediately upon seeing me falling, I was able to survive this accident unharmed, which could have proven fatal.

It can happen to any Marine Pilot - Every day
The accident is over and I was back on duty the next day, but a lot of questions need to be answered and many concerns need to be addressed for the safety of marine pilots all over the world and for the risk involved in this profession. These men are no less than heroes who work day in day out and risk their lives to keep the world’s shipping moving. Are the safety standards on ships, facilities for pilots and international regulations to regulate the whole process worth the risk? Think about it!

Story by Capt. Agha Umar Habib (Port of Sohar, Oman)
What's your opinion on this?
Be the first to comment...
Login or register to view comments and join the discussion!
Read more...

Video Improper use of VHF leads to collision - Human errors contributing most to nav accidents today

Found on YouTube. Created by "Banjara Cinema".

Maritime Training Videos series by Dhhunki Productions.
Contact us for production of Maritime training & safety videos,Training Shoots & Films,Incident Analysis,Case Study Videos
Corporate & Ad Films,Intro-Seminar-Conference Shoots,Documentary & Short films,Music Videos
www.dhhunkiproductions.com
E-mail:dhhunkiproductions@gmail.com

0

Article In Memoriam of Captain Dennis R. Sherwood (1955 - 2019)

by Bianca Reineke, lutheran Pastor, Germany - published

Ladders are the bridges for crossing the rough seas of our lives.
When you are a Marine Pilot at work, hoping and praying that the ladders which let you embark the vessel are stable, safe and not dangerous.
In Memoriam of the late Captain Dennis Sherwood who passed away on Monday the 30th of December.

0

Article Container Ship hits Mooring Boat in Italy

by www.MaritimeBulletin.net - published

According to a report today by www.MaritimeBulletin.net a mooring boat was rammed from a container ship and sunk.

0

Video 14 Days Timelapse of U.S. East Coast in 10 Minutes, across New York, Charleston, Savannah

One of my favorite time-lapse videos. Awesome pictures and also great music.
What a masterpiece! Thank you Jeffrey!

Video by jeffrey@hkon YouTube

Follow my life at sea on Instagram @jeffrey.hk
www.instagram.com/jeffrey.hk

0

Video Operation "Icebreaker" in Port of Quebec, Canada

Found on YouTube. Created by Port Quebec

Accelerated icebreaking operation of Pier 28 in the Estuary sector, involving Ocean Group's tugs.

0

Video A day in the life of a pilot boat

Found on YouTube. Created by "Bruce Flett"

PILOT LAUNCH SCAPA PATHFINDER IN ACTION...4/5/2020

0

Video M/V Santa Loretta Precision Tug Maneuver (AHDPA)

Found on YouTube. Special thanks to John Redman and the "American Harbor And Docking Pilots Association".

Jacksonville FL - June 2020 4K

0

Video A day in the life of the Briggs Marine Pilot Launch Vessels

Briggs Marine invited High Impact Media (https://media.hi-impact.co.uk/) to spend a few hours on one of our Pilot Launch Vessels to help us demonstrate the day to day efforts of our crew in Liverpool.

0

Video Vídeo Institucional Oficial da Praticagem do Brasil

The practice is essential to the safety of waterway traffic, as it avoids or minimizes accidents that can cost the lives of people, cause damage to the environment and enormous material losses.
The structure is fully maintained by the practicing companies themselves, without the contribution of any public resource, related to the maintenance of the speedboats, the 24-hour operation of their Operations Centers, the training of their employees, the acquisition and maintenance of communication, computer and traffic coordination systems.


The practical work is regulated by the Navy, which establishes strict standards of action.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

0

Article A journey back in time: films of pilotage from 1940 to 1975 (USA, UK and Germany)

by Frank Diegel, CEO Marine-Pilots.com - published

Let us start a journey back in time. Back to the black and white films of history. The times have changed, but it is good to know what kind of things have changed and where are the roots of pilotage.

0