Article

Pilot on the bridge


by Gard AS - published on 14 October 2021 133 -

Symbol picture by www.unsplash.com

A good working relationship with the pilot, effective Master Pilot Information Exchange at the start of the pilotage followed by well performing Bridge Resource Management during the pilotage passage, are important factors in a successful pilotage
In December 2020 the International Group of P&I Clubs (IG) issued its report on P&I claims involving vessels under pilotage covering the 20 years from 1999 to 2019. During this period there were some 1,046 incidents where pilot error contributed to or caused an incident. Total cost of these incidents was over USD 1.8 billion. Whilst there is volatility both in number and severity of the incidents in each year, the annual average of 52 incidents equates to one incident per week, and the average value per incident is approximately USD 1.7 million.
The report considers incidents in four categories. As can be seen from the table above, incidents in the Allision/FFO category represent the majority, constituting approximately 60% in terms of both number and value. This is to be expected since pilots are most frequently onboard to assist a vessel with its arrival at or departure from a berth. Collision incidents, those incidents which involve contact with another vessel, is the second largest category, representing approximately 30% in terms of both number and value. Given the circumstances required for a grounding to occur, the frequency of these incidents at about four per year is, as expected, much lower than that for incidents in the Allision/FFO and Collision categories. However, the average value of grounding incidents – USD 2.35 million – is the highest of all the four categories. It is also worth noting that 25% of all grounding incidents occurred in the Suez Canal. As for claims in the Navigation category, these are claims arising from the wash of the vessel under pilotage, and the number of incidents and their overall cost is relatively small.

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