Supplementary note to questions (P 05A)
Q.187. It is difficult to understand how
competition in Pilotage will operate in ports. We believe that
in the UK there is adequate competition between different ports
and that the issue of Pilotage Exemption Certificates is an adequate
form of competition for a pilot service in a port.
Competition in Pilotage services will have an
adverse effect on the operation of the Port Marine Safety Code.
It is unclear how the EU Directive will affect Pilotage if at
all. The UK ports' groups appear to be opposed to the Directive.
We consider the UK government should protect the Port Marine Safety
Q.197. While it is difficult to prove, we
consider that the number of accidents in our ports is kept to
a minimum because of the expertise and skill of the pilot on board
a vessel and the dedication of the pilot to the safety of the
vessel he is piloting.
Q.198/Q.199. Prior to the enactment of the
Pilotage Act 1987, on 1 October 1988 all UK pilots with a very
few exceptions operated in an independent self-employed role.
The 1987 Act introduced a situation which may pilots found foreign
to their previous role. The 1987 Act worked as intended by the
government of that time. Pilotage was deregulated and placed completely
in the hands of the Competent Harbour Authorities (CHA's) who
were able to act as judge and jury on all Pilotage matters. Many
pilots felt that they had lost their independent role of serving
the master and ship (I refer you to the Cavendish Judgment 1993).
Pilots do believe we should have close co-operation
and a good working relationship with a CHA, but this has not been
the case in many ports particularly where the pilots become employees
of the CHA, although not entirely. This can be judged by the number
of arbitration hearings held under Section 5 of the 1987 Act to
settle disputes between pilots and CHA's.
An act of Pilotage can often be dangerous and
difficult and a marine pilot does not need to have difficulties
with a CHA on his mind when carrying out his Pilotage role.
Q.200. We believe that with the introduction
of the Port Marine Safety Code there will now be a more factual
record of near-misses, and disregard of proper navigation rules.
Q.121. Again I would emphasise that the
very high standard of safety in our ports has much to do with
the professionalism of the pilots in our ports.
Q.122. We would wish to raise a number of
additional points regarding the issue of Pilotage Exemption Certificates.
The UKMPA attitude is not to oppose the issue of PEC's provided
they are issued to suitable persons in a proper and analytical
Qualifying trippage to and from a
port should be varied (eg time, weather) and sufficient.
EC's should only be issued the following
assessment and examination by a properly constituted examination
board. It is wrong to assume that a bona fide master or 1st mate
is proficient in handling his own ship.
An adequate knowledge of the English
language is essential. This is often not the case. PEC's are sometimes
issued on the recommendation of the shipowner.
We would suggest that PEC's are available
particularly to facilitate ferry companies and very regular traders
to a port and not for irregular visitors to a port who retain
a PEC by virtue of very low trippage required by a CHA. Milford
Haven is not the only example of a low requirement for trippage.
Again we emphasise that a CHA is judge and jury on PEC requirements
under the 1987 Act. There are many more PEC's issued post-1987
Act, but many PEC's are issued for short term commercial reasons.
We have knowledge that many masters are forced into obtaining
PEC's through clauses in the charter party when the master believes
it would be prudent to utilise a pilot because of such issues
as fatigue when on a short sea service or the fact that he is
also the chief engineer on board or through shortfalls in crewing.
We consider it is imperative that
National Standards and Guidelines for PEC's are introduced.
Many of the above issues also apply to vessels
totally exempted from Pilotage by CHA's. Exemptions from compulsory
pilots are not considered in an analytical manner and it is very
often these vessels which could possible never have visited a
port previously which cause difficulty to regulated traffic.
Q.207. It would be more correct to say "eg
a ship may arrive later than its ETA on the very limits of the
It is also fair to say that commercial pressure
has been placed on pilots to reduce the number of tugs used to
berth or unberth a ship, when it is not considered prudent to
Q.208. It is perhaps worth noting that in
the case of the Sea Empress, a second pilot would have been on
board if practices prior to the 1987 Act had been continued.
It is also reasonable to state that since the
1987 Act was introduced some shipping companies have operated
what can only be considered a "private" pilot service,
where a PEC holder moves from chartered ship to chartered ship
regardless of the type, size, flag or crew nationality of the
ship, and solely to carry out Pilotage duties although signed
on the different vessels' articles as supernumerary to the normal
crew. We consider this as "PEC abuse". Representation
has been made on this issue. It is also contrary to the supposition
that the master is in the best position to handle his own vessel,
as the PEC holder has the conduct.
With reference to Mr Graveson's evidence we
believe that he means by a long and hazardous voyage that the
master may have been on the bridge for a long time owing to fog
or severe weather conditions.
Q.123. Further to this questionthe
London Pilots objected strongly to the introduction of Pilotage
Direction No. 5, which released a number of vessels from compulsory
Pilotage. London pilots have indicated to the UKMPA that that
has lead to an increase in incidents involving non-compulsory
ships. A similar situation has occurred on the Humber. Representation
by the pilots and UKMPA to the CHA's were ignored.
Q.128. The teeth referred to was the belief
that a Regulator or Regulating body should be appointed for Marine
Safety. It has also been proposed that Reserve Powers would be
given to the Secretary of State to give the PMSC some bite, but
to date these reserve powers have not been granted.
There has always been the confusing grey area
in our ports where responsibility on safety lies, noting the memorandum
of understanding between the H&SE, MCA and MAIB. H&SE
is well aware that the safety record in our ports from the waterline
shoreward is very poor.
Q.229. Representatives from several ports
have been heard to say that the PMSC is a "wish list".
This is why we believe the PMSC needs "teeth" to make
Q.242. Short Sea Shipping should be encouraged
and expanded. As a example a small feeder container ship can carry
hundreds of containers between two ports in relatively short time.
This would take hundreds of lorries of our overcrowded roads.
If I may briefly refer to the other evidence
It would appear that complicated
planning permission applications are inhibiting the development
of our ports, Dibden Bay Southampton being an example. This is
a disadvantage in relation to our European neighbours.
Referring to Mr Everard's evidence
(Q. 345.) a Pilot has the conduct of the vessel under UK law (A.
742 Merchant Shipping Act 1894) and is not an advisor as he states.
N C E McKinney
27 March 2001