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Operational Pilot Guidance—advisory note 01/2019

This Pilot Advisory Note (PAN) clarifies who AMSA considers to be the ‘Operational Pilot’ (and therefore who bears regulatory responsibility in accordance with applicable laws), when more than one coastal pilot is embarked aboard a vessel within a compulsory pilotage area.

Purpose

‘Operational Pilot’ means the pilot who has conduct of the vessel for the purposes of the Navigation Act 2012 and Marine Order 54 (Coastal pilotage) 2014 (MO54).

The operational circumstances where more than one coastal pilot is embarked may include:

1. When an ‘Assessing Pilot’ (or ‘Supervising Pilot’) and a Trainee Pilot are both onboard:

Trainee coastal pilots are required to conduct observation / training voyages and ‘assessment transits’ at sea, as part of the standard licence progression requirements.

‘Supervising Pilots’ guide and instruct trainee pilots (mainly during observation / training voyages) and are required to possess an Unrestricted coastal pilot licence with appropriate experience.

Appropriate experience means a minimum of three (3) years holding an Unrestricted licence for the relevant coastal pilotage area and either:

  • *100 voyages in the Inner Route pilotage area
  • *50 voyages in the Hydrographers Passage pilotage area
  • *30 voyages in the Great North East Channel (GNEC) pilotage area.

*The minimum voyages detailed above apply to the respective pilotage area in which the observation / training voyages are being conducted— for example an Unrestricted pilot with three years’ experience who only meets the minimum voyage requirements for the GNEC pilotage area, is unable to act as ‘supervising pilot’ in a different pilotage area.

‘Assessing Pilots’ conduct assessment transits for the purposes of completing the training workbook and possess a Check Pilot licence. In the case of the Queensland Coastal Pilotage Whitsunday Anchorage Training Program workbook, an ‘Assessing Pilot’ must also possess a Whitsunday Anchoring licence issued by AMSA.

For each transit in which a Trainee Pilot is accompanied by either a Supervising or Assessing Pilot, AMSA considers the Supervising or Assessing pilot to be the Operational Pilot. This includes assessment transits where the Trainee Pilot is making reports to REEFVTS as part of the assessment.

2. When a Check Pilot and a Restricted Pilot (undergoing an assessment transit per s59(3)(a)(ii), or per s59(3)(c)(ii) to MO54), are both onboard:

A coastal pilot with a restricted pilot licence (up to 11.5m maximum draught) who is seeking to upgrade to an Unrestricted pilot licence for the Inner Route and/or the GNEC pilotage areas, must conduct an assessment transit on a vessel with a draught of at least 11.0m with a Check Pilot.

To enable a more robust assessment of a Restricted Pilot’s competence related to the pilotage of deeper draught vessels, AMSA requires that these assessment transits are conducted on vessels with a draught greater than 11.5m.

Note: On such assessment transits, AMSA considers the Check Pilot to be the Operational Pilot, noting the Restricted Pilot licence draught limit of 11.5m.

3. When a Check Pilot and either a Restricted Pilot, or an Unrestricted Pilot are onboard (undergoing a ‘Check Pilot Voyage’ for the purposes of licence renewal per s61(2)(a)(ii), or per s61(2)(b)(ii), or per s61(2)(c)(ii) to MO54):

Restricted and Unrestricted Pilots renewing their coastal pilot licences are required to undertake ‘Check Pilot Voyages’ in accordance with the requirements specified in MO54.

On all such voyages, AMSA considers the Restricted Pilot, or the Unrestricted Pilot to be the Operational Pilot.

In some circumstances, it is acknowledged that the Unrestricted Pilot undergoing assessment during a Check Pilot Voyage may also be an AMSA-licensed Check Pilot, however this aspect does not impact on the determination of the Operational Pilot.

4. When two coastal pilots are onboard and neither an ‘Assessment Transit’ nor a ‘Check Pilot Voyage’ are being conducted:

For the purposes of this Advisory Note, a transit in which more than one coastal pilot is onboard, is a transit that:

  • Is not an observation / training voyage, an assessment transit, or a Check Pilot Voyage.
  • may include the transfer of the conduct of the vessel from one coastal pilot to the other coastal pilot.

During a transit in which more than one coastal pilot is carried onboard, should transfer of conduct of the vessel between coastal pilots occur at any stage, each coastal pilot must individually report commencing duties and ceasing pilotage duties to REEFVTS (in accordance with clause 6 to Schedule 3 to MO54).

Reporting

5. Trainee Pilots undergoing assessment transits must not report to REEFVTS as the Operational Pilot. The following information is to be reported to REEFVTS (in order) during assessment transits, by the Operational Pilot:

a. The Operational Pilot (i.e. the Assessing Pilot conducting the assessment); then

b. The Trainee Pilot undergoing the assessment.

6. Restricted Pilots undergoing assessment transits per s59(3)(a)(ii) or s59(3)(c)(ii) to MO54 must not report to REEFVTS as the Operational Pilot. The following information is to be reported to REEFVTS (in order) during assessment transits, by the Operational Pilot:

a. The Operational Pilot (i.e. the Check Pilot conducting the assessment); then

b. The Restricted Pilot undergoing the assessment.

7. Restricted Pilots and Unrestricted Pilots undergoing Check Pilot Voyages must report to REEFVTS as the Operational Pilot. The following information is to be reported to REEFVTS (in order):

a. The Operational Pilot (i.e. the Restricted Pilot or the Unrestricted Pilot undergoing the Check Pilot Voyage); then

b. The Check Pilot conducting the Check Pilot Voyage (as assessor).

In all circumstances outlined above, the report to REEFVTS must clearly identify the Operational Pilot. The report to REEVTS must also clearly advise the circumstances of why more than one coastal pilot may be onboard and clarify whether the transit is an assessment transit, a Check Pilot Voyage, or another coastal pilotage requirement.

The following definitions are provided for the purposes of this Advisory Notice:

  • A ‘Trainee Pilot’ is a pilot who holds a Trainee Pilot Licence issued by AMSA.
  • A ‘Restricted Pilot’ is a pilot who holds a Restricted Pilot Licence issued by AMSA. Restricted pilot licences specify maximum draught limitations.
  • An ‘Unrestricted Pilot’ is a pilot who holds an Unrestricted Pilot Licence issued by AMSA.  The ‘Operational Pilot’ is the pilot who has responsibility for the conduct of the vessel.

For more information, email: coastal.pilotage@amsa.gov.au

Last updated: 

Tuesday 22 October 2019