News

Sandy Hook Pilot fatally injured while boarding a vessel

On Wednesday night, an experienced marine pilot with the Sandy Hook Pilots Association fell from a pilot ladder and was fatally injured. It was the second fatality in a year for the Sandy Hook pilots.

At about 2230 hours last night, pilot Capt. Timothy M. Murray fell from a pilot ladder while boarding a tanker inbound for the Port of New York and New Jersey. He landed on the deck of the pilot boat and sustained injuries in the fall, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. New York City Fire Department and Coast Guard assets responded to the scene, and FDNY paramedics transferred to the pilot vessel to provide CPR. The pilot vessel transited to Staten Island and the victim was transferred to Staten Island University North Hospital in critical condition. He did not survive his injuries. 

Capt. Murray had been a marine pilot at the Port of New York and New Jersey for more than eight years. According to the pilots' assocation, he is survived by his wife Erin, his five children (Brennan, Rory, Grace, James, Ella), his mother Kathleen and his three siblings (Jackie, Sean and Kathleen).

The U.S. Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the cause of the casualty. 

The fall was the second fatal pilot ladder accident involving a Sandy Hook pilot in eight months. On the morning of December 30, 2019, marine pilot Captain Dennis R. Sherwood was involved in an incident while boarding the inbound container ship Maersk Kensington. He was injured after falling from an accommodation ladder and was evacuated to a medical facility on Staten Island. He succumbed to his injuries at the hospital. 

The climb from a moving pilot boat up the side of a moving ship involves risk, and pilot ladder accidents are not uncommon. In an attempt to address pilot transfer safety issues, SOLAS V Regulation 23 provides specific measures for pilot ladder arrangements and equipment, but many marine pilots report that these rules are not always followed. 

In a letter to all state pilotage authorities issued earlier this year, the American Pilots' Association warned of the risk of improperly rigged "trapdoor" pilot ladder arrangements. The trapdoor ladder uses a combination of an accommodations ladder and a pilot ladder for boarding. If the ladder is hung from the bottom of the accommodations ladder platform, the arrangement "requires a pilot to pull himself or herself up through the trapdoor while twisting to get a secure footing on the platform." Capt. Sherwood fell to his death while attempting that maneuver, according to the association. (Maritime Executive, 2020)

On behalf of AMPI we would like to extend condolences to his young family and his colleagues. There has been a go fund me setup for Timothy https://www.gofundme.com/f/timothy-m-murray-memorial-fund

Shannon Estuary pilots aid Irish Whale and Dolphin Group

The pilots on the Shannon estuary are assisting the Shannon Dolphin Project by logging bottlenose dolphin sightings. The pilots are on the river 364 days(they have Christmas day off) of the year. Therefore they are an invaluable resource to the Shannon dolphin project and the Irish Whale and Dolphin group by logging dolphin sightings. The data collected from pilots adds another stream of information to the Shannon Dolphin project which was not previously available. The marine biologists of the Shannon dolphin Project found it difficult to get out on the estuary during winter months due to weather, limiting the amount of time to mostly the summer months where they can log sightings.

The pilotage district on the Shannon Estuary is from Loop Head to Limerick docks, which is 100 Kilometres.


AMPI's submission to Ireland's Marine Spatial Plan

EU Directive 2014/89/EU requires Ireland to have a Marine Spatial Plan to be in place  by March 2021. 

The Department of Housing, Planning and local Government has been tasked with bringing this plan to fruition.

AMPI have decided to make a submission we feel will make changes for the better.

Marine Spatial Planning is a process that brings together multiple users of the ocean – including energy, industry, government, conservation and recreation – to make informed and coordinated decisions about how to use marine resources sustainably.

Please follow this link to AMPI's Marine Spatial Plan submission.

https://www.housing.gov.ie/sites/default/files/public-consultation/files/responses/007_association_of_marine_pilots_of_ireland.pdf

Substandard pilot training contributed to accident

The UK MAIB has released its report into the heavy contact of the CMA CGM Centaurus with a quay and shore cranes while berthing at the port of Jebel Ali.

They cite a lack of bridge resource management training as a contributing factor in this accident, with the ships officers and the pilot not working in unison.

AMPI recommends that all pilots are trained to the standards laid out in IMO A960 which was not the case in this situation.

Follow the link to the accident investigation report.

https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/heavy-contact-made-by-container-vessel-cma-cgm-centaurus-with-quay-and-shore-cranes

Unfortunate Accident on the River Thames

Accident during pilot transfer between general cargo vessel Sunmi and pilot transfer vessel Patrol with loss of 1 life

https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/accident-during-pilot-transfer-between-general-cargo-vessel-sunmi-and-pilot-transfer-vessel-patrol-with-loss-of-1-life

Grounding of container vessel

Grounding of the ultra-large container vessel CMA CGM Vasco de Gama

https://www.gov.uk/maib-reports/grounding-of-the-ultra-large-container-vessel-cma-cgm-vasco-de-gama

Houston Ship Pilots Receive IMO Bravery at Sea Award, Global Shipping's Highest Honour for Bravery

Two Houston Ship Pilots who risked their lives to bring a burning ship to safety and prevented a major maritime disaster on the Houston Ship Channel have been presented with the International Maritime Organisation Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea, the highest honour for bravery at sea in global maritime industry.

http://sumo.ly/KeC1

AMPI named as a membership organisation of the IMDO

AMPI would like to thank the IMDO for including us to their list of membership organisations.  

It is a privilege to be on a list with these very well renowned and highly regarded organisations.

https://www.imdo.ie/Home/site-area/business/maritime-ireland/maritime-ireland#MembershipOrgs

Pilot dies after falling into water

In a tragic accident in the port of Cascais a pilot lost his life while disembarking the Hong Kong flagged vessel Singapore Express. http://empa-pilots.eu/news/pilot-dies-after-falling-into-water