Checklist of Master / Pilot information exchange

Written by Amit Sharma

This checklist is to be completed by the Master and an entry made in the Bridge Log prior to commencing any Pilotage Operation:

  • Has a completed Pilot Card been handed to the Pilot?
  • Has the Pilot been briefed verbally on the vessel’s peculiarities, maneuvering characteristics and current status?
  • Has the Pilot briefed the Master on the Passage Plan?
  • Has the Pilot been advised on the status of Bridge Equipment, location of critical equipment and deficiency/error (if any)? (If applicable).
  • Have the engines been tested astern prior to arrival or departure?
  • Has Master ensured that progress of the vessel will be closely monitored at all times and positions are fixed regularly?
  • Has Master ensured that the Pilot’s advice is understood and carried out accordingly?
  • Have verbal engines and helm orders been confirmed and the execution of orders been monitored by Master and officer of the watch?
  • Has the forecastle been manned and are the anchors in state of readiness for letting go in an emergency?
  • Has Master ensured that safe working practices are complied during securing or slipping off tug’s line and crew stay clear of tug line’s snap back area?
  • Has Master ensured that adequate and proper look-out will be maintained at all times, including positioning of lookout on the bridge-wings and any other location in all blind zones and areas of obstructed view from bridge conning position as required in Rule 5 of the INTERNATIONAL REGULATIONS FOR PREVENTING COLLISIONS AT SEA?
  • Has the shipside been cleared of any protrusions which might cause damage to the ship or the terminal while berthing?
  • Rigging of pilot ladder or gangway:
  • Has inward bound vessel prepared pilot ladder or gangway on seaward side for disembarkation of pilot after berthing? (If necessary)
  • Has information received via Shore to Ship Pilot/Master Exchange been included in the ship’s Pilotage Passage Plan?
  • Has the Pilot been advised on status of bridge equipment, shown location of critical equipment and been advised of errors (e.g. Gyro Error) if applicable?
  • Has the proposed Passage Plan been discussed and agreed with the Pilot?
  • Have the contents of the Pilot’s Passage Plan been fully discussed?
  • Has the Passage Plan been updated with regard to latest information received from the Pilot?
  • Has the Pilot:
    • Provided the latest information on tides and currents to be expected in the area?
    • Provided the latest information on anticipated weather conditions?
    • Confirmed the status of port navigational aids?
    • Provided a mooring plan and tug plan?
    • Advised of expected traffic conditions for transit?
    • Advised of any special restrictions that apply for transit?
  • Have port reporting requirements been complied with and has it been confirmed if the Pilot or ship’s staff will make reports?
  • Has the requirement to keep the forecastle manned and anchor state of readiness been discussed and all local rules complied with?
  • Has the Under-Keel Clearance been calculated, discussed and agreed with the Pilot as safe for transit?
  • Has the use and number of tugs, mooring boats and other external facilities (shore sinches etc.) been explained by the Pilot?
  • Has the Pilot provided information on the berth, side alongside and intended method of approach? (as applicable).


About the author

Amit Sharma

Graduated from M.E.R.I. Mumbai (Mumbai University), After a brief sailing founded this website with the idea to bring the maritime education online which must be free and available for all at all times and to find basic solutions that are of extreme importance to a seafarer by our innovative ideas.