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Piloting

MARITIME TRANSPORT

90% of world trade is carried out by sea. By its very nature and long before there was talk of globalization of economies, Maritime Transport was already a sector of the economy structured in the perspective of the global market. Indeed, Maritime Transport is a globalized international business. The Ship, moving in the Sea, is the means of transport that moves more easily in relation to any other mode of transport and, although adapted and dimensioned to the different times, it is still the means of locomotion capable of transporting large amounts of goods, at a very low energy cost. Ports are privileged commercial outposts, continuing to have a great strategic position, as, in addition to being the largest multimodal platform in the transport system, they are not only a place for goods to pass, but also a true service infrastructure.

EVOLUTION OF DRIVING

“Portugal. History and the Sea. We are all pilots from eight centuries who took this rectangle from the edge of Europe to the discovery of the real and the imaginary. We made the new worlds. Like an eternal stone ship that left and returned, we continue to live the challenge of the Sea. A challenge between dream and future, past and reality. It was not by chance that much of Portuguese history was written at sea. First of all, a unique geographical situation, at the crossroads of the Classic Mediterranean with Northern Europe. Contact with the sea, fishing and the passage of old trading ships, from the Levant to the North, are at the origin of our oldest maritime traditions and in the creation of the first support for navigation. The local “pilots” of the time were, above all, fishermen. They assisted the vessels that demanded our coast, at the entrance of the ports and coastal navigation. There are references to these activities since the Middle Ages. The piloting of Portuguese bars and ports fits into our most remote maritime traditions.” ( ) Nowadays, Pilotos da Barra, not denying the oldest maritime traditions, are specialized in the use of high technology for positioning, communications, propulsion and steering, the result of an exponential technological development of the shipping industry. The bridge of a modern ship bears more similarities to the cockpit of an airplane than to a traditional wheelhouse.
Text by Luís Miguel Correia extracted from the book PILOTAGEM – SERVIR A NAVIGAÇÃO E OSPORTS (inPP’s 10th anniversary commemorative edition).

PILOTAGE THROUGHOUT THE TIMES

The Pilotos da Barra are a nautical figure that is lost in time, but, however, has never been so current. The Piloto da Barra is a very old figure, perhaps the second oldest, as can be seen in engravings from ancient Egypt, in which boats can be seen, where the Piloto, standing at the bow, scrutinizes the horizon and, while with a in both hands he holds a plummet, with the other he points out to the helmsman, situated at the stern, the course, which he must govern at every moment. Fishermen were, at that time, the only ones who knew the access to the port and, to add to this experience, the fishermen also had the practice of sailing. Thus, they were the first Pilots of Barra, employed with good results to assist the navigation that the ports demanded. The oldest news concerning Pilotos da Barra dates back to the time of Dom Manuel I, with the publication, on January 29, 1515, of the Charter of Privileges of Pilotos de Barra, which grants them several benefits, among which stand out: “exempt and privileged persons who will not serve by sea or land, neither in peace nor in war to any other parts” and “who cannot be scourged, nor banished, except as squires are”. The Royal Regiments state: “the ships of India or the ships of the Navy that left or entered the bar to have a pilot on board, who would be appointed by the Pilot-Mór”. “Do not leave them until they are completely on the bar outside, free from the shoals, making sure that the pilots you nominate are men of experience and science, capable of governing the said ships, because not having the experience and science that is convenient and succeeding in some of the ships are shipwrecked, they will be on account of their farm and that of said pilot, who, because of him, the loss and damage that My farm receives”. Also in the D’Oléron Rules of 1615, which could be considered the beginnings of Maritime Law, the penalties to be applied to the pilot are determined: “le Pilote qui par sa faute a causé un dommage au navire, s’il na de quoi, aura la tête tranchée”. On August 5, 1824, the first Regulation for the Pilotage Service of Barra da Cidade de Lisboa was published, in the reign of Dom João VI. However, it was with the publication, on August 28, 1839, of the Regulation for the Service of Pilots Practicing in Barra, which marked the beginning of a new phase of Portuguese pilotage. From the date of this law onwards, any individual who does not show any notions of governance and maneuvering of a round ship will not be admitted to the Pilot Pilot of Barra; and when Primary Instruction is more generalized in the Nation, it will also be required that they know how to read and write.

TODAY’S PILOTS

Piloto da Barra is a certified maritime professional who provides a technical advisory service to ship captains, so that the maneuvers of entry into port, exit and interior movements can be carried out with high levels of safety and efficiency. Although ship masters are knowledgeable about their ship and crew, they are not necessarily familiar with the specifics of each port they demand, thus resorting to the services of Pilots to ensure that their ship, crew, passengers and cargo arrive at their destination. destination safely and efficiently. Pilots are very knowledgeable about the coastline, inland waters, shallows, port infrastructure, meteorology, tides, maritime-port legislation, auxiliary vessels and restrictions in the area for which they are certified and use their years of experience to prevent ships run aground or collide with other ships or structures. Pilots are also knowledgeable and familiar with different types of propulsion systems, hull design and steering characteristics of different types of ships and how these characteristics react at different speeds and under different tide, wind and current conditions. Barra Pilots have experience in maneuvering ships in confined spaces, with or without tug assistance and in extreme weather conditions. They coordinate navigation movements with the VTS and also have responsibilities within the scope of Port State Control, namely for reporting ship deficiencies that jeopardize safety. Pilots are thus responsible to their country to ensure that their sea coasts and areas of sensitive marine environment remain clean of pollution, thus constituting, in coordination with maritime and port authorities, the first link in the navigation safety chain, port infrastructure and the protection of the marine environment.

Barra Pilots

“They have experience in maneuvering ships in confined spaces, with or without tug assistance and in extreme weather conditions.”

TRAINING AND TRAINING

All Barra Pilots are Merchant Marine Officers, licensed by the Infante D. Henrique Nautical School and have an average of around 10 years of experience on board various types of ships, before joining the Barra Pilot career. The knowledge of several international ports, different types of ships and crews, is an asset that is used during the performance of the duties of Pilot of Barra. After entering the piloting career in ports, there is a period of “on the job” training under the supervision of Senior Pilots. This accompanied training is complemented throughout the career with training in ship simulators, scale models, BRM (Bridge Resource Management) courses and courses in new technologies such as ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System), AIS (Automatic Identification System) , IBS (Integrated Bridge System), PPU (Portable Pilot Unit) and new propulsion and steering systems such as Azipods. In addition to the STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping) certification, Barra Pilots are certified by the IPTM (Port and Maritime Transport Institute) for piloting in certain areas, with or without restrictions, depending on their experience.

IN PRACTICE WHAT DOES THE PILOT DO?

“Pilot activity is the public service that consists of technical assistance to the captains of vessels in navigation movements and maneuvers in waters under national sovereignty and jurisdiction, in order to ensure that they are carried out in safety conditions” The Pilot is a professional, certified as a Nautical Officer of the Merchant Marine, who performs the functions of advisor to the Captain of a ship, in the safe conduct of the same in the restricted waters of a port of call. The Pilot has an in-depth knowledge of the coast, as well as the inland waters of the port, for which he is licensed, recognizing its lows, currents, tides, weather conditions and also the port regulations and restrictions, using his years of experience for a safe driving of the ship you pilot. The pilot is assigned a certain maneuver, whether berthing, starting, changing quay, entering or leaving the port, docking or anchoring, after the agent contacts the pilot station, or the competent port entity. Nowadays, this process is carried out using computer processes, after which the pilot is notified of the type of service he is going to perform, having to pay special attention to weather conditions, currents, ship characteristics, parking place, among others. A very important coordination service begins here, so that the pilot has all the essential conditions to carry out the maneuver, such as transport, pilot boats, tugboats, moorings, among others. The transfer of the pilot on board the ship, for boarding or disembarkation, is done using a pilot boat, which is a vessel specially designed to allow the transfer of the pilot to and from the ship, often under wind and sea conditions. quite adverse. The journey between the place of embarkation on the speedboat and the place of embarkation of the ship may be 1 hour.

Pilot

“It is a professional, certified as a Nautical Officer of the Merchant Marine, who performs the functions of advisor to the Commander of a ship, in the safe conduct of the same in the restricted waters of a port of call.”

The pilot boat master, when approaching the ship, will have to match the speed of the boat to that of the ship, in order to lean against it. After observing the boarding conditions, namely the synchronism between the movement of the ship and the speedboat, the pilot “jumps” to the backrest ladder, which is nothing more than a cable ladder with wooden steps, waiting for him. an ascent along the side of the ship, a “wall” that could be 9 meters. If it exceeds 9 meters, some even reach 20 meters, it is necessary to combine this ladder with the portal ladder. It is in the embarkation and disembarkation for the pilot boat that the pilot takes the greatest risks, with unfortunately some deaths to be regretted. The pilots have personal protective equipment, which in case of falling overboard allows them to keep afloat through automatic or manual activation. The crews of the pilot boats must be trained in the provision of first aid as well as in the “man overboard” recovery maneuvers. Upon reaching the deck of the ship, a crew member will lead the pilot to the bridge. The bridge is the highest point on the ship, which can sometimes reach a height equivalent to 10 stories from the deck. The first thing the pilot will do will be to carefully explain to the captain which will be the route that the ship will follow, the maneuver to be carried out, the means to use, weather conditions and all other information essential to the safe maneuvering of the ship. On the other hand, the master will provide all information regarding the ship as well as deficiencies that the ship has, especially with regard to the information made available to the pilot before the assignment of the service. The Captain of the ship is familiar with it, as well as with its crew, however, nothing obliges him to know the specifics of the different ports of call of his ship, so he will need the experience of a Pilot to guarantee that the ship, its crew, passengers and cargo, demand the port safely and efficiently. The pilot will use all the technological aids at his disposal including gyrocompass, radar, VHF, ARPA, GPS, DGPS, ECDIS, etc. Confidence in the information provided by these equipment varies from ship to ship and should be handled by the pilot with due care. For more specific maneuvers, there is the PPU, which is a piece of equipment that provides more reliable and accurate information to the pilot. The pilot’s assignment on the bridge is to give rudder orders to steer the ship and the machine to control the ship’s speed. The pilot is also responsible for contacting the traffic control services to inform about the movement that the ship is going to or is doing, as well as to become aware of other traffic in the area. The Pilot is also familiar with the different propulsion systems, hull design, different types of rudder, characteristic of different types of ships, and with these they react at a given speed, depending on wind, current and tide conditions. Perhaps the most difficult part of the pilot’s job is the mooring of the ship at the pier. The ship’s dimensions and displaced water mass make ships difficult to stop, being even more difficult in the presence of wind or currents. Uncontrolled contact with the quay can bring high financial losses related to damage to the ship or port infrastructure, as well as risks of pollution and consequent environmental damage. Pilots often use the service of tugboats to assist them in maneuvers, their power can reach 5000 horsepower.

THE ORGANIZATION OF DRIVING IN PORTUGAL

The pilotage service is currently provided by the Port Administrations. There are 8 departments on the mainland: Viana do Castelo, Douro and Leixões, Aveiro, Figueira da Foz, Lisbon, Setúbal, Sines and Faro, plus 3 in the Autonomous Region of the Azores and one in the Autonomous Region of Madeira, accounting for a total of 108 certified pilots.

PUBLIC SERVICE

The Pilotage of Ports is not just another activity of the same; it is an activity that strives for the safety of maritime and river navigation, for the safeguarding of human life and property, as well as for environmental protection; more than enough reasons for it to be conceived as a public service.

Mandatory driving areas

List of Ports and Bars by country zones

The use of the pilotage service is mandatory, in each port on the mainland, in the following areas:

Viana do Castelo:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the lighthouse on the outer pier;

Leixões:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the breakwater lighthouse (spur), and, for ships destined for or leaving the ocean terminal of Leixões (monobuoy), within the limit of 3 miles, centered on the Leça lighthouse;

Douro:
throughout the navigable area of ​​the Douro River, downstream of the Luiz I Bridge and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the Felgueiras lighthouse;

Aveiro:
throughout the navigable area of ​​the Ria de Aveiro and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the Aveiro lighthouse;

Figueira da Foz:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the north breakwater lighthouse;

Lisboa:
throughout the navigable area of ​​the Tagus River and up to the outer limit of 6 miles, centered on the São Julião lighthouse;

Setúbal:
throughout the navigable area of ​​the river Sado and up to the outer limit of 5 miles, centered on the Outão lighthouse;

Sines:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 5 miles, centered on the lighthouse at the north end of the east pier (green);

Portimão:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the west breakwater lighthouse;

Faro /Olhão:
throughout the navigable area of ​​the Ria Formosa and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the lighthouse of Cabo de Santa Maria;

Vila Real de Santo António:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the Vila Real de Santo António lighthouse.

In ports under the jurisdiction of the Autonomous Board of Angra do Heroísmo:

Porto da Praia da Vitória:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the lighthouse on the south pier of the port of Praia da Vitória;

Porto de Angra do Heroísmo:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the Monte Brasil lighthouse;

Porto da Praia da Graciosa:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 2 miles, centered on the lighthouse of the Praia da Graciosa harbor pier;

In ports under the jurisdiction of the Autonomous Board of Porto da Horta:

Porto da Horta:
a distance of 2 miles centered on the lighthouse at the tip of the jetty at the port of Horta;

Porto de São Roque:
a distance of 2 miles centered on the lighthouse at the tip of the jetty at the port of São Roque;

Porto de Velas:
a distance of 2 miles centered on the lighthouse at the tip of the jetty at Porto das Velas;

Porto das Lajes:
a distance of 2 miles centered on the lighthouse at the tip of the jetty at the port of Lajes;

In ports under the jurisdiction of the Autonomous Board of Porto de Ponta Delgada:

Porto de Ponta Delgada:
inside the port and up to the outer limit within a radius of 2 miles, centered on the lighthouse at the tip of the jetty at the Commercial Pier of the Port of Ponta Delgada;

Porto de Vila do Porto:
inside the port and up to the outer limit within a radius of 2 miles, centered on the lighthouse at the tip of the jetty at the Commercial Pier of the Port of Vila do Porto.

Funchal:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 1 mile, centered on the lighthouse at the east end of the Pontinha breakwater;

Terminal de Combustíveis da Praia Formosa:
up to a limit of 1.5 miles, centered on the Vitória lighthouse;

Terminal Cimenteiro dos Socorridos:
up to a limit of 1.5 miles, centered on the Vitória lighthouse;

Caniçal:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 1 mile, centered on the fishing wharf lighthouse;

Porto Santo:
inside the port and up to the outer limit of 1 mile, centered on the lighthouse of the south breakwater

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