Category Archives: Pilot vessels

Pilots of Gdansk.

In Gdansk we were warmly welcomed by Pilot Jakub Sczcerbinski of the Gdansk Pilot Organization, officially called Przedsiebiorstwo Uslug Morskich ‘Gdansk-Pilot’. We first got a tour through the pilot station and then we followed by pilot tender at a distance the piloting of the chemical tanker ‘Copernicus’, length 74 m and breadth 12 m. The chemical tanker sailed from Gdansk to the Baltic sea. Unfortunately it was not possible to photograph the entire pilotage. Instead we were invited to visit the port of Gdansk with the pilot vessel. The port was very impressive. See for more pictures Pilots of Gdansk

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Pilots at Port of Tyne

In the Port of Tyne I sailed with the container vessel ‘Star Comet’ lenght 133 m width 19 m to the North Sea. I followed the work of pilot Ken Milton. I was lucky that day because the weather was sunny with beautiful clouds, after a long period of bad weather. The security measures were very good. In advance Alan McPherson, deputy Harbour Master and senior pilot asked me if I needed shoes, a jacket and a life jacket. By climbing the ladder and walking on the container vessel and in the harbour I had to wear also a safety helmet, safety glasses and a yellow safety jacket. I was very impressed. See for more pictures: Pilots at Port of Tyne

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Pilots of Antwerp

On the river Scheldt towards the Belgian ports  both the Flemish and the Dutch pilots work closely together by pilotage services according to a specific distribution key. See my post:Pilots of the River Scheldt. In Vlissingen I accompagnied the Flemish pilots Patrick Corveleyn, Jacques Cruyl and Peter Coveliers by the maiden voyage of the containervessel MSC ‘Laurence’ (lenght 366 m and breadth 48 m) to the locks of Berendrecht. The purpose of the maiden voyage was to investigate whether it was possible to pass the locks at Berendrecht and berthing backwards in the MSC container terminal in Antwerp.

See for more pictures: Pilots of Antwerp

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Pilots of Rotterdam.

Rede Hoek van Holland, sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.08 am

In April 2011 I was invited by Herman Broers, Chairman of the Rotterdam Pilots, to sail from Hook of Holland to the Dutch Pilot Station at the North Sea. The Pilot Station is located at sector post Maas about 10 miles southwest of the entrance of the Port of Rotterdam. From the pilot boat to the vessels pilots are transferred by a launch. The small boats are lowered to the water by a david (cranelike device).

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Pilots of Bangkok (3)

As we are close by the Bangkok Bar Pilot Station we are picked up by the pilot boat. Through the pilot ladder we disembark and are transported to the station. The Bangkok Bar Pilot Station is established in 1874. It has a round cylindrical tower with lantern, mounted on a 3-story concrete building standing on piles. The entire structure is painted with red and white horizontal bands. There is a helipad on the roof of the building. The vessels entering Bangkok must stop to pick up a pilot. Located about 10 mi south of the entrance to the Chao Phraya River, which leads to Bangkok.

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Pilot cutter ‘Mirfak’ out of service.

Pilot station Steenbank, North Sea, June 2, 2011 1.08 pm

Despite earlier reports the Dutch Pilot Association has decided not to use the pilot cutter ‘Mirfak’ (length 59 m breadth 12 m) anymore. After 35 years of service the pilot cutter ‘Mirfak’ is replaced by the new pilot station vessel ‘Polaris’. The pilot cutter ‘Markab’ continues to sail until the second pilot station vessel will be ready.

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Pilotcutter ‘Markab’ out of service?

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland April 22, 2011 6.25 am

Rede Hoek van Holland, sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.07 am
Rede Hoek van Holland, sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.08 am

Rede Hoek van Holland sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.26 am
The pilotcutter ‘Markab’ is after 40 years of service no longer used by the Dutch Pilots Association. Guided by Herman Broers, the President of the Rotterdam Pilots, I visited the ‘Markab’ (length 59 m and breadth 10 m) when the pilotcutter vessel was still on service.


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New Pilot Station Vessel ‘Polaris’ (2)

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland, December 1, 2012 11.05 am

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland, December 1, 2012 11.15 am

Bergahaven, Hoek van Holland, December 1, 2012 11.20 am

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland, December 1, 2012 11.35 am

Last Saturday I had a guided tour on the Pilot Vessel Station ‘Polaris’. It was the second tour for the staff, pilots and former pilots of the Dutch Pilots Association. There were as many as 600 people to visit the vessel. The vessel, length 81 m and breadth 13 m, was moored as a proud Princess on a special built pier. It is an impressive vessel. On 6th of December the vessel ‘Polaris’ enters service. I wish the ‘Polaris’ and the crew a safe journey.

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New Pilot Station Vessel

Publication, © Dutch Pilot Association, November 2012
The Dutch Pilot Association developed a new Pilot Station Vessel and ordered three vessels to built by Barkmeijer Shipyards. The first vessel ‘Polaris’, is baptized on October 10, 2012 by her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. December 6, 2012 the ‘Polaris’ enters service and will replace the old pilot station vessel ‘Markab’.  In 2013 the other two vessels will be finished.
For more detail information see link:—2012/2131/

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Pilots of Bangkok (2)

Gao Praya River, Thailand December 28 2010 6.04 am

Gao Praya River, Thailand December 28 2010 8.45 am

Chao Praya Delta Estuary, Thailand December 28 2010 9.25 am

Gulf of Thailand December 28 2010, 9.47 am

I depart from the port of Bangkok with a container ship KMTC Singapore (lenght 172 m, breadth 26 m), flying the Korean flag. It was an impressive pilot trip down the Chao Praya River, especially the vegetation, the temples, the bridges and special ships we passed. After three hours we arrive in the Gulf of Thailand and we sail with the pilot boat to Bangkok Bar Pilot Station, which is located 10 miles south of the entrance to the Chao Praya River. 

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