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Please call pilot (PCP) positions and waypoint arrival alarms

This advisory note reminds coastal pilots of the importance of correctly placing ‘Please Call Pilot’ (PCP) positions and/or establishing Waypoint Arrival Alarms, associated with the conduct of coastal pilotage operations.

PCP positions and Waypoint Arrival Alarms

Analysis of historical incidents in coastal pilotage areas indicates that at times the PCP position and/or Waypoint Arrival Alarm particulars (as established on the paper chart / ECS / ECDIS / GPS system as applicable), was inappropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions.

When considering where to place these positions and/or alarms, pilots should take into consideration:

  • the possible effects of sleep inertia, even when resting on the bridge
  • the effects of sleep inertia could be amplified if resting during the window of circadian low (0200hrs-0500hrs)
  • that at least 15 minutes should be allowed to resume duties after a period of deep sleep
  • the time of day and the need to acquire adequate night vision during the hours of darkness
  • the potential that the vessel might not be on the intended track and therefore a wheelover position may be earlier than anticipated
  • the potential that significant action may be required to regain the planned track or to take avoiding action
  • that PCP positions and/or Waypoint Arrival Alarms set at a fixed distance prior to all planned wheel-over positions during a pilotage, may be inappropriate noting the above information. Pilots are reminded that PCP positions and/or Waypoint Arrival Alarms must be established to give the pilot adequate time to take preventative action if a potentially hazardous situation is developing.

Returning to the bridge

It is essential that after a rest period, a pilot resumes his role on the bridge with sufficient time to fully awaken and muster his faculties, fully assess the circumstances and regain full situational awareness and make timely decisions, as may be required.

Last updated: 

Monday 2 December 2019