Marine Pilots: Unsung Heroes Of The Shipping Industry

published -
255

Marine Pilots: Unsung Heroes Of The Shipping Industry
pictures and article by "The Cleaner"

Every time we see a ship entering or leaving a Jamaican port, we can rest assured that no matter how massive that cargo or cruise ship may be, there is a Jamaican marine pilot at the helm. He is skilfully guiding that vessel into or out of harbour with knowledge and experience that assures the safety of that ship, all the personnel aboard and its valuable cargo.

For centuries, the world’s shipping interests have employed pilots with local knowledge of depths, tides and currents to guide vessels into or out of port safely – or wherever navigation may be considered hazardous, particularly when a shipmaster is unfamiliar with the area.

The International Maritime Organization, a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping, notes that in addition to local knowledge and expertise, pilots are able to provide effective communication with the shore and with tugs, often in the local language.

Qualified pilots are usually employed by the local port or maritime administration, and provide their services to ships for a fee, calculated in relation to the ship’s tonnage, draught or other criteria.

Pilot Roy ‘Roxy’ Fuller, one of the founders of the Jamaica Marine Pilots Association, possesses a wealth of knowledge on the history of Jamaica’s marine pilots. He recently retired as a member of that elite group after giving 47 years of service to the island’s shipping industry and is happy to share a few facts with us.

EXPERT Navigator
Pilot Fuller said a marine pilot is an expert in ship handling and navigation, licensed to operate in specific ports and pilotage areas by a competent authority. In Jamaica, that authority is the Port Authority of Jamaica. The Jamaica Marine Pilots Association (JMPA) was formed in 1976 and among the founding members were Pilots Hermon King, A.E.’Duke’ Fuller, Danny Welch, Malcolm Jones and Roxy Fuller. The JMPA was formed to oversee the welfare of pilots and to provide a platform for the negotiations and voice of the pilots with the Port Authority of Jamaica.

The highlights of the JMPA’s achievements over the years include improvements in remuneration; negotiating the 20 per cent duty on motor vehicles in light of the intensive islandwide travelling to the ports; the acquisition of modern pilot boats for the Kingston service; and permanent offices with overnight accommodation, uniforms and other amenities.

The current president of the JMPA is Pilot Hubert Kerr, who has already given 37 years of service as a licensed marine pilot and has also previously served as president. He points out that the marine pilots were the first to take precautionary actions in the COVID-19 pandemic as they had kept abreast of international news, especially as it concerns shipping. He says that from as early as in January of 2020, the local pilots got word of what was happening in Wuhan, China, and because they have to pilot ships coming from that country, they were wearing masks and sanitising their hands from that time.

Pilot Kerr also notes that his administration is now negotiating with Tax Administration Jamaica on behalf of the 26 members of the JMPA, because they feel there needs to be some sensitivity to the unique aspects of pilotage, especially with regard to how salaries are determined. He says that the job requires tremendous mental and physical effort and that the current pandemic has made things even more difficult. For example, during the closure of hotels, pilots had nowhere to stay overnight and so had to travel many miles, sometimes in the dead of night, to get to ports and then immediately board ships to bring them safely to dock.

“We are also trying to get improved health insurance coverage for our members,” Pilot Kerr states, adding that the welfare of retired marine pilots is a top priority for the association.

The JMPA is also placing a lot of emphasis on the training of marine pilots to meet the demands of increased shipping globally. He says that the JMPA is committed to maintaining the highest international standards in pilotage in Jamaica.

Jamaica has earned a worldwide reputation of providing the best pilots in the region, especially in the areas of technical skills and manoeuvring, and both pilots Fuller and Kerr and believe that this results from the rigorous and thorough training that apprentices must undergo before they are allowed to carry out any piloting on their own.

There are six regularly used ports around Jamaica and every apprentice pilot needs to have four years of training in navigating each of them, and is tested separately at those ports before being allowed to pilot on their own.

Requirements
Persons interested in becoming a marine pilot can apply to become apprentice marine pilots if they have graduated from a recognised maritime institution; hold a minimum Class III foreign-going certificate; have a minimum of two years as a navigating officer in charge of a watch; and have working knowledge of electronic chart display and information system, and bridge resource management.

The successful candidates must be available for training at nights, on weekends and public holidays; will be required to embark and disembark pilot ladders in adverse weather conditions while the vessel is under way; and must be medically and physically fit to perform the duties of a marine pilot.

The shipping industry takes this opportunity to salute the marine pilots of Jamaica – past, present and future – for their sterling contributions to our nation’s development as we proudly celebrate the 58th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence.
You can read the original article here
Editor's note:
Opinion pieces reflect the personal opinion of individual authors. They do not allow any conclusions to be drawn about a prevailing opinion in the respective editorial department. Opinions are usually deliberately formulated in a pronounced or even explicit tone and may contain biased arguments. They are intended to polarise and stimulate discussion. In this, they deliberately differ from factual articles you typically find on this platform, written to present facts and opinions in as balanced a manner as possible.
What's your opinion on this?
Be the first to comment...
Login or register to view comments and join the discussion!
Read more...

Video Kingston 1 & Kingston 2 - Pilot Boats - Naming & Commissioning 2018

Found on YouTube. Created by "Port Authority of Jamaica".

On Wednesday, January 24, 2018, the #PortAuthorityJa hosted a Naming & Commissioning Service for #Kingston1 and #Kingston2, two new pilot boats for the service of Jamaica. The new boats replace older, undersized and malfunctioning ones, and is part of ongoing meaningful improvements to maritime operations at at our ports island-wide! Here are highlights, courtesy of #WeirzWorldMedia!

0

Video ZIM inward to Kingston Jamaica with ECDIS

Found on YouTube. Created by "Pilot Phil".

ZIM inward to Kingston Jamaica with ECDIS

0

Article A contempt for pilot safety and total disregard for the contents of the SOLAS Convention.

by Captain Kevin Vallance MNI - published

Tuesday, October 1st is the start date of the latest International Maritime Pilot Association's annual Safety Campaign.

Previous campaigns by the association have consistently shown results of pilot ladder deficiencies around the 20% mark.

0

Video Handling a mid size container ship

Found on YouTube. Created by "SMR Pilot"

"Mizar" is a 165 LOA containership, which follows a liner route between the caribbean and the US.
It has a fixed pitch propeller and a bow thruster, which makes it easier to handle. This maneuver consisted of basically just pulling her off the dock and then doing a 160 turn.

0

Video Perjalanan Penuh Tantangan Maritime Pilot - Ep 23

Found on YouTube. Created by "NNtalk".

Mungkin banyak sebagian dari kita masih asing dengan istilah Maritime Pilot . Padahal masa depan profesi ini sangat cerah. Kedepannya profesi ini sangat dibutuhkan baik di dunia pelayaran domestik dan internasional.

Untuk mendapatkan keahlian memandu kapal ternyata harus melalui beberapa tahap yang cukup panjang dan penuh tantangan.Simak pula perjalanan karir Capt. Akhmad Syaiful Salim sampai menjadi seorang Mariime pilot yang berhasil.

Semoga menjadi insiprasi generasi muda Indonesia....

0

Article A helpful "Dangerous Ladders Tool: The app “NO RUMO CERTO” from Brazil

by Porthos Lima, Brazil - published

My name is Porthos Lima and I am the Technical Director of Brazilian Pilots Association. I have been working as a Pilot for 20 years. I am here today to introduce you to our App "No Rumo Certo". The App was inspired in 2017 IMPA SAFETY CAMPAIGN.

0

Video Bulk Carrier sailing from Liverpool Docks stern-first

Found on YouTube. Created by "Tim Nuttall".

Bulk Carrier "Jasmine A" leaving Gladstone lock stern-first with 3 tugs

0

Video Liverpool Pilot Boat Returning to Liverpool

Found on YouTube. Created by "MSPhotographic".

0

Article Pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding with Humphree Interceptors

published

The Southwest Alaska Pilots Association has taken delivery of a new pilot boat from Gladding-Hearn Shipbuilding, Duclos Corp. The vessel was delivered to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where it was loaded on a ship bound for the West Coast.

0

Video ESAIL Maritime Satellite Launched

Found on YouTube. Created by "Luxembourg Space Agency".
The #ESAIL #microsatellite for tracking ships worldwide was launched. This is the first maritime satellite of its kind produced and assembled in Luxembourg. Hear from #Luxembourg Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot about this pioneering #ESA partnership project developed with #LuxSpace and #Exactearth.

0