W hen a pilot arrives to the bridge, the first words which should immediately appear in the ship logbook are “under captain’s orders, on pilot’s advices”. They fix the close relationship between the pilot and the ship’s captain.
The role of the pilot is to assist the master by providing local expertise and appropriate advice during the passage of the ship.
In confined waters, the workload increases on the bridge; time and margins of error are reduced; the port activity and traffic are stepping up and the consequences of an incident or miscalculation could be really considerable. Specific knowledge in ship handling is absolutely required in a port.
The International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch keeping for Seafarers STCW78 / 95, revised by the Manila Agreements in 2010, said that the presence of a pilot on bridge does not relieve the master of his duties and its obligations regarding the safety of the ship. In practice, it is the pilot who has the conduct of the vessel, after having exchanged information with the master on navigational procedures, local conditions and ship’s particulars.