Commercial Pressures impacts the safety of the vessel, study says
Seafarers are pressured to keep quiet and keep the ship moving by ship operators, who dont want to lose inccome.
Ship's officers who bring safety issues to the attention of management are exposed to the risk of retaliation. As whistle-blowers they may face punishment, demotion or even termination.
International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P) has published a study on shipboard safety, which focuses largely on the safety implications of the commercial pressures faced by the shipping industry worldwide.
Maritime Pilot and His Duties
While captains are in-charge of ships, the role of a maritime pilot is equally important. Te duties of maritime pilots are quite different from that of the ship’s captain. As the name suggests, Marine pilots help in manoeuvring ships while arriving or departing a port.
While the ship’s captain handles the job of navigating the ship in the water, when the situation gets risky or there is any situation which demands greater skill in the manoeuvring of the ship, the ship pilot acts as the person who advises the captain what route to take and what changes need to be made during ship’s routine manoeuvring while entering or leaving a port.
The role of the pilot increases even further when the size of the ship is taken into account. Ships that carry cargo or are used as oil tankers need the expertise of pilots as they are quite heavy and difficult to manoeuvre. The bulk of the ship makes it important that there is a pilot who can navigate the ship safely without any loss. Marine jobs like that of a marine pilot also help in protecting the marine life and habitat.If the entry to a particular port is quite narrow, then the pilot has to be used because it’s the pilot who knows the way and ensure that the boat or ship passes through the narrow gateway without any incident.
The maritime pilot, keeping in mind all the above factors is therefore hired locally. The factor of the pilot being local ensures that he is familiar with the water area and thereby is able to guide the ship appropriately.
The marine pilot however is not a direct employee of the ship. He is like an outside expert hired to oversee ships navigating in the waters. This being the case, it can be said that the marine pilot is not actually a part of the ship’s crew and therefore does not travel along with the crew. He has a special charter craft (pilot boarding vessel) from which he enters the ship that he has to control. This charter craft could either be a helicopter or another boat (Generally the later one is used). He then enters the ship and makes sure that the manoeuvring of the ship is done as required.
Proper coordination between the Bridge Team members and the Maritime Pilot is very important. If the Master feels that the action of the Pilot will put the vessel at risk he/she can clarify it as he is the overall incharge of the vessel.
Situational AwarenessToo many ships are grounding, colliding or coming into close quarters with each other simply because masters are unaware of what is happening within and around their boats. In other words, they lacked situational awareness.
Situational awareness means:
having a good perception of your surroundings at all times
comprehending what's happening around you
predicting how this will affect your boat
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