Deep Sea & Coastal Pilots provide their pilotage services to a wide variety of vessels including Liner, Car Carriers, VLCC’s, Product tankers, Bulkers, Gas Carriers and many more.
Having a detailed knowledge of the English Channel and the North Sea through their previous experience and extensive training, it provides Masters and owners with increased safety and helps mitigate the risk of accident or collision.
Through this extensive training, as well as keeping up to date with the complex buoyage, navigation, offshore activity and reporting procedures, a deep sea pilot can greatly enhance a bridge team and provide increased assurances around the safe passage of a vessel through some of the busiest and most treacherous waterways in the world.
These busy shipping lanes carry a high risk of an incident which could result in expensive repercussions from both a damage and pollution perspective. Combine this with the ever increasing offshore activity, fishing vessels, numerous ferry crossings, dense commercial traffic and increased pressure on a master due to shrinking crew sizes, port formalities and working hour limitations; it is increasingly important that vessels receive the necessary support when transiting these waters.
With the Dover Straits experiencing in excess of 1,000 movements per day, along with the changing weather, it is understandable that the IMO recommends Masters/owners utilise the services of a licensed deep sea pilot here.
Boarding a Deep Sea Pilot
In terms of boarding a deep sea pilot, we are able to join a vessel prior to the Dover Straits off Brixham or Cherbourg via pilot launch. The boarding positions for these are listed below and we are also able to join vessels alongside at port around all of Europe.
Detailed knowledge of the waters and traffic lanes means that our pilots will be able to assist a master with his passage planning as well as take the safest and most direct routes which also results in costs savings in terms of bunkers. Their knowledge of the best drifting/anchoring positions will also contribute to this.
The biggest factor when looking at previous vessel incidents and collisions. Following the introduction of strict working hour limitations, a deep sea pilot can reduce the risk of fatigue by taking pressure of a master and crew whilst also allowing them time to complete port formalities while transiting dangerous and high risk waters.
Having an experienced deep sea pilot on board can greatly mitigate the risk of an accident whilst also bringing expert knowledge and advice to a bridge team.
Reduction in bunker costs through expert passage planning and knowledge, a saving which is often overlooked in the day to day running of a vessel.
As per IMO Resolution A486 (xii), Master and owners are recommended to utilise the services of a deep sea pilot when transiting the English Channel and the North Sea.