Marine TAIC adds navigation in pilotage waters to Watchlist

11 October 2018
Chart depicting planned and actual course of the Azamara Quest
Chart depicting planned and actual course of the Azamara Quest

More needs to be done to address errors in ship navigation in pilotage waters, says the Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC).

“Errors in navigation in pilotage waters carry the risk of serious consequences for people, the environment, and the economy,” said Chief Commissioner Jane Meares.

The Commission has created a new Watchlist item to focus the attention of regulators, operators, and training providers on solving the problem.

Pilotage waters are those areas where (with a few exemptions) a ship must use the services of a maritime pilot -- an experienced and highly skilled sailor with detailed knowledge of a particular waterway.

“The Commission has investigated a number of recent incidents in pilotage waters where ships ran aground or contacted objects in the water. There were no serious injuries or damage, but all could have had severe consequences,” said Ms Meares.

“The common thread in these incidents is poor application of an international standard for safe navigation of a ship, bridge resource management.

“The phenomenon of the team on a ship’s bridge not applying an international standard is a safety issue of serious concern; it demands the immediate attention of regulators, operators, and training providers, so the Commission has created this new item for the TAIC Watchlist.”

The TAIC Watchlist encourages regulators, operators, the Government – and the people involved in transport every day – to mitigate transport-related concerns of high social, economic or environmental risk; and systemic transport safety risks.

As with all of its Watchlist items, the Transport Accident Investigation Commission consulted broadly – with the Ministry of Transport, Maritime New Zealand, the New Zealand Maritime Pilots Association, and the New Zealand Port and Harbour Marine Safety Code.

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