Article

Pilots’ Pocket Guide and Checklist - Second Edition released


published on 19 January 2022 479 -

The British Tugowners Association (BTA) in collaboration with the UK Chamber of Shipping has launched its new Pilots’ Pocket Guide and Checklist which can be purchased here.

Harbour towage is a potentially hazardous business and should not be undertaken unless there has been a proper assessment of the risks involved. Good communication by all parties, proper planning with an understanding of what can go wrong and good seamanship are critical in ensuring that the risks are minimised.

Thorough training and appropriate experience are also essential in ensuring that the professionals involved are competent. To assist in this process, this guide aims to support pilots and PEC holders in their daily task. It draws on industry best practice and uses checklists, coupled with guidance, to provide a handy pocket aide memoire for those responsible for directing tugs during harbour towage.

The guide has been written by members of the British Tugowners Association in conjunction with the UK Maritime Pilots’ Association in order to promote and improve safety in harbour towage.

This second edition introduces a range of new content, including:


  • Greater emphasis on development of the pilotage plan for shared mental model between all crews
  • Improved two-stage checklists
  • Vessel familiarisation and liaison groupings
  • Closed-Loop Communications to protect against false mutual understandings for safety critical information
  • Value of briefings and de-briefings (work as done as compared to work as imagined)
  • Breaking down best practice by period of operation, eg Pre-Arrival or Making Fast and Manoeuvre
  • Correct reporting of dangerously weighted heaving lines
  • Importance of tow points and the risk of girting
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