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APPENDIX H Summary Report of European Trip EUROPEAN PORTS AS INTEGRATED SYSTEMS Each port and river system on the committee's itinerary essentially func- tions as an integrated system under the oversight or substantial influence of a single harbormaster who wields considerable authority. The pilots do not work for the harbormaster but are, in effect, major players on his team. The pilots are entrusted with ensuring the safety and efficiency of vessel operations, and they work in very close consultation and cooperation with port authorities. Pilots tend to be market oriented, but not at the expense of safety. In the Netherlands, where there is tremendous societal concern for safety and the environment, the balance between safety and efficiency seems to vary by port. In Rotterdam, where safety is an economic issue (10 percent of the nation's gross national product comes from the port's activity), efficiency appears to have the edge.) In the River Scheldt system, at least in Dutch waters, safety is the principal concern, largely because most of the traffic is destined for upstream Belgian ports (which compete with Rotterdam for container cargoes) and be- cause large gas carriers pass within half a mile of the Dutch city of Vlissingen (Flushing). Safety is the primary focus of the Amsterdam Port Authority, be- cause most of the port activity there is private. iThe first phase of the Rotterdam Port Authority safety study was completed recently. A copy (in Dutch) was made available to the delegation. Basic findings were that 60 percent of accidents occur in basins (including dockings and undockings) and 40 percent in fairways. In later phases of the study, safety policy will be considered for shipping traffic and transport of dangerous goods. 449
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450 APPENDIX H PILOTAGE Heavy emphasis is placed on the professional competence of pilots in West ern European and Scandinavian waters. The qualification program in Rotterdam is perhaps the most rigorous, requiring theoretical, simulator, and practical train- ing and examinations, but all Pilotage authorities require considerable experi- ence and apprenticeships. Pilotage systems are undergoing significant changes. In the Netherlands, for example, the Rotterdam-Rijnmond Pilots (Maas Pilots) L.R.R. and other pilot organizations were privatized in 1989 to improve the efficiency of the Pilotage service. Previously, the river pilots were employed by the government and the harbor pilots by the Rotterdam Municipality, which is reflective of the historical government structuring and organization of Dutch society. The pilots think they provide better service now, and they are working very hard to smooth out wrin- kles in the system. Rotterdam-Rijnmond Pilots reported that they have to be market oriented; ship owners want value for their money. Everyone wants all-weather service and no unnecessary delays. The port wants efficient pilot service to maintain its competitive edge. The pilots must be sensitive to all these interests, albeit not at the expense of safety. The pilots see themselves as key instruments for achieving operational safety in the port complex. The U.K. pilotage system was revised as a result of the Pilotage Act of 1987. Under the old Trinity House system, all pilots were self-employed and entitled to charge whatever the market would bear. Parliament felt the pilots were making port operations too expensive; Prime Minister Thatcher produced the Pilotage Act, with input from pilots. The Port of London Authority (PLA) Pilotage Service now employs the pilots, who are unionized. The port employed a computer model to determine how many pilots were needed in the region. Of the 300 pilots in the Trinity House system, 180 were selected. The remainder were retired. At the time of the delegation's visit, there were 114 pilots (90 sea and 24 river). Many European pilots wear uniforms. Pilots in the Netherlands wear a pre- scribed uniform consisting of black trousers, white shirt with shoulder marks, and black coat. In the Port of London, the prescribed pilot uniform is black pants with a white shirt and shoulder marks. The European approach to safety sometimes demands two pilots per vessel. In Sweden. for example, ships greater than 60,000 deadweight tons (DWT) re- quire two pilots. One is for handling communications! Only highly skilled, senior pilots are qualified to handle the very large crude carriers (VLCC) calling at Rotterdam. Captain Robert Hofstee arranged for Ad- miral Herberger to accompany him and a second pilot on a VLCC transit from sea into Europort. The VLCC was about 269,000 DWT and drew 68.5 feet of water (the channel was 70 feet deep). One pilot conned the vessel, while the
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SUMMARY REPORT OF EUROPEAN TRIP 451 second pilot performed navigation duties using the ship's radar and pilot-provid- ed portable Decca navigation aid. The senior pilot commented that some ships arrive at Rotterdam with too few crew members to handle the tug lines in an expeditious manner. This is a safety concern that pilots and port officials are reviewing. Throughout Europe, small commercial craft and some coasting vessels gen- erally are exempt from compulsory pilotage. Exemptions from compulsory pilot- age generally are available to European Community (EC) flag ships-on set runs (e.g., North Sea Ferries). However, exemptions are controlled tightly, are usually vessel and route specific, require frequent trips, and usually require that the master or mate be subjected to a rigorous practical or theoretical examination, or both. (For smaller vessels, exemptions may be based on vessel size or operator experience.) Essentially, those receiving exemption certificates are required to have the same professional qualifications as are pilots, although only for a cer- tain route and ship type and size. Exemption programs are intended to provide a baseline level of pilotage competence for all vessels (Herberger et al., 1991; Hofstee, l990b). Captain Hofstee reported that the European Maritime Pilots Association, of which he is president, believes that too much is expected of shipmasters. The association argues that pilotage exemption can be a detriment to safety, particu- larly where certificate holders are aboard vessels underway less than 24 hours between two ports. Captain M. Nauta, senior master, North Sea Ferries, noted that the Rotterdam Port Authority (RPA) can override the pilotage exemption if circumstances warrant. For example, a pilot and tugs are required under certain wind conditions. European pilots generally felt that the quality of merchant mariners has been slowly declining. The trend is unevenly distributed; it is more noticeable on ships of some (unspecified) Third World nations and of certain companies that are cutting costs to bare minimums. Pilots also noted that the drastic changes in the structure of Eastern Europe are having some effect on the quality of mer- chant marine personnel, essentially because wage-earning opportunities at sea often are better than those available in the homeland. As a result, there has been an apparent increase in Eastern Europeans from non-nautical backgrounds on some ships. How, or to what degree, such developments might translate into safety problems is not known. Captain lIofstee observed that, in the future, there will be a greater need for pilots to offset the general decline in professional qualifications of bridge crews. Pilot Training Using Shiphandling Simulation European pilot training emphasizes apprenticeships and, to a lesser degree, shiphandling simulation. The primary training method is apprenticeships, which provide exposure to a wide variety of vessels under a wide range of operating
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SUMMARY REPORT OF EUROPEAN TRIP 453 Where employed, simulations build on and help refine an individual's exist- ing capabilities, and, if combined with theoretical classroom work, they provide primers or refreshers on technical matters. This is because, regardless of whether physical scale-model or computer-based simulations are used, all pilots or pilot candidates acquire considerable nautical experience before participating in a sim- ulation. No organization was found to be using simulations as a shortcut in pilot . . training. Opinions varied widely concerning what simulations and simulators pro- vide, at what stage in professional development they should be used, and for what purposes. Generally, manned-model simulators such as those employed at Port Revel, France (visited by the delegation), and Southampton, England (discussed by pilotage authorities) provide a means to acquire a "feel" for how vessels respond, using all the physical senses needed in shiphandling under actu- al environmental conditions. Although simulators do not compensate for some scale effects (particularly in shallow water), the general belief is that such effects are small and do not compromise the medium for training purposes. There is no consensus on the degree to which the Port Revel facility which offers a more complete hydrological profile than does Southampton may pro- vide for a more faithful reproduction of ship behavior for maneuvers in shallow and restricted water that does the Southampton facility. There is agreement that Port Revel is more expensive, and that this has influenced some shipping compa- nies to send their personnel to Southampton rather than to the more complete facility at Port Revel. Pilots, particularly from the United States, have begun attending Port Revel in increasing numbers. Pilots from London, however, go to Southampton, largely because the PLA regards this facility as satisfactory (other factors include cost, convenience, and national loyalty). Port Revel takes four to eight students per week, except during the winter, when the facility is closed. Total cost of training is about $10,000 plus transpor- tation. During the past 25 years, 3,600 mariners have been trained; as of the delegation's visit, 974 were pilots. In the past, most of those attending have been ship masters, but the balance is shifting toward pilots. Europeans generally agree that computer-based simulations can be effective for training in procedures and emergency scenarios in a compressed time frame without exposure to actual risk. From the pilot's perspective, the simulators are not useful for learning bridge team management; that is because pilots deal principally with foreign-flag ships, which pilots reported frequently have noth- ing resembling a bridge team. Therefore, teamwork training using simulation for such situations would have little relevance. The effectiveness and acceptability of computer-based simulations for developing shiphandling knowledge and prac- ticing shiphandling skills is a controversial issue. The debate cuts across both user and non-user groups; even those who have used simulators disagree among themselves. Rotterdam pilots used the computer-based simulator at Wageningen, the
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454 APPENDIX H Netherlands, for pilot candidate and VLCC shiphandling training.2 J. Lems, RPA deputy director of shipping, observed that the development of simulators must involve pilots. Captain W. Ph. van Maanen said that there should be some type of reference booklet, so trainees could check on why things went wrong (or right) and what was learned. In simulation training supported by RPA, debriefs are part of the program, but Captain van Maanen observed that nobody seems to do a good job evaluating the results. Captain Hofstee noted the Rotterdam VLCC pilots undergo emergency train- ing every 2 years because of the significant risk to the environment associated with VLCC cargoes. VESSEL TRAFFIC SERVICES Substantial investments have been made in vessel traffic services (VTS), both to enhance the economic efficiency and competitive advantage of specific ports (e.g., to give Rotterdam an edge over Antwerp) and to benefit safety and the environment. The VTS investment is especially large in Holland, where port operations contribute significantly to local and regional economies and the gross national product, and there is considerable concern for public safety and envi- ronmental protection. On the other hand, Finland has no VTS systems. The Helsinki port director characterized VTS as "a hole into which one pours mon- ey." The VTS systems in the major ports and river systems serve as the harbor- master's eyes and ears as well as the command center for governing vessel traffic management and coordinating crisis response. No one is really sure wheth- er VTS systems achieve economic or safety objectives, but the perceived need for a businesslike approach to traffic management and safety is strong enough to underwrite support for the systems. At Rotterdam, the vessel traffic management system (VTMS)3 was devel- oped to replace a radar system in order to cope with ever-larger vessels, in- creased traffic, and increasingly dangerous goods. The system is a joint venture of the Ministry of Transport and the port. The VTMS is designed to provide all activities necessary to achieve a safe and efficient traffic flow to and from the 2The Dutch are reasonably comfortable with the technique and also employ it for channel design (the RPA recently used the Marine Safety International [MSI] facility in Newport, Rhode Island, for this purpose). Captain W. Ph. van Maanen noted that RPA pays fair one week (40 hours) of simulator training for users of new basins. A major new simulation facility is scheduled to open in Rotterdam in May 1994. 3The Dutch have also built a system to enable authorities to monitor the extensive inland waterway system of canals and locks. Some parts of the system have radar and/or closed-circuit television. Because of existing legislation, the system cannot provide traffic guidance but it can give traffic information.
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SUMMARY REPORT OF EUROPEAN TRIP 455 Port of Rotterdam (and Europort).4 The system consists of a main Harbour Coor- dination Center (which coordinates the work of the entire VTS), as well as three traffic centers (Hock, Botlek, and Stad), two subtraffic centers (mainly used to support inland traffic), patrol boats, pilots, boatmen, tugs, customs, and immi- gration. Captain S. N. Zuurbier, president of Reg. Loodsencorporatie Rotterdam- Rijnmond, said pilots initially feared that modern electronics would threaten the existence of the profession. "By now that fear has disappeared entirely ... . The harbormaster (now) has two instruments to guarantee the safe and smooth han- dling of traffic: these are the traffic service and the pilot service. Both are com- plementary and can no longer be separated from the site of operations" (S. N. Zuurbier, personal communication, July 23, 1991~. The Flushing VTS is an unusual case of international cooperation. Both Dutch and Belgian pilots are to provide support at the main traffic center, but the Belgians had not yet obliged, although there were lower-level Belgian watch personnel. At the Scheldt Coordination Centre, decision making about crises is supposed to be done by consensus and coordinated with Belgian authorities. Since 1985, the crisis management group has been brought together only three times. The governor of the Dutch province affected can override a decision by VTS, as can his Belgian counterpart. Regarding safety performance, there have been approximately 20 accidents in 6 years of service. Some pilots think there is too much control and that everything was fine without the VTS. There is some apprehension over pilot job security with the increasing involvement of shore- based personnel. The professional backgrounds of European VTS watch personnel and con- trollers range from no nautical experience to licensed pilot. The majority of VTS personnel have maritime experience in commercial or government service. There is a trend toward placing pilots in traffic centers to provide a resource for techni- cal harbor expertise. Generally, pilots staff some VTS positions on a limited basis at critical points in the waterway system. When doing so, pilots are respon- sible to the harbormaster operating the system and to the person in charge of the center or watch (who could be the pilot). Some VTS systems actually are operat- ed by pilots; such systems are generally staffed by members of the pilot associa- tions or by semi-retired association members. The form and manner of VTS training varies widely. The Netherlands has 4While most of the port is adequately covered by radar, the overall electronic display system and automatic tracking capability is not fully functional, principally because the Dutch government re- quired that the electronics be of Dutch origin. As there were no off-the-shelf Dutch VTS electronic systems, the prime contractor, Philips, had to invent the system, including some technologically advanced portions of the system that were developed as basic system components were being in- stalled and operated.
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456 APPENDIX H made a national commitment to VIS and runs a national training program, which includes a VTS simulator at Wageningen. Regional and local (including on-the- job) training follows national training. All candidates have maritime back- grounds. (Note: The Rotterdam Port Authority and Marine Safety Rotterdam have constructed a major ship-bridge and VTS simulation facility In Rotterdam. National VTS training will be shifted to this new facility [Van Horssen, 19921.) The Netherlands National VTS Operator Training Program was described to the committee's delegation by Henk Regelink, course director. At the time of the delegation's visit, 57 trainees had taken the basic course. The objective is a single, national approach to VTS communications. That means there is a need for "attitude" training. lThe course is rigorous: performance is measured every 3 weeks and there is a 70-percent washout rate. There is some consultation with industry on VTS examination development. For example, the head of the Dutch Ship Masters Association is involved in the process. The quality of VTS simula- tioI1 training depends on the quality of the trainers. It became obvious through discussion that not all Rotterdam pilots are satisfied with the content of FITS training. Director Regelink indicated that his organization plans to conduct a user satisfaction survey once law is enacted requiring each VTS operator to undergo a practical examination every 3 years. VTS training in the rest of Europe is port specific, consisting primarily of local on-thejob training programs. The London VTS has been staffed by the same personnel for years and only recently has had to recruit new personnel. The training program was created coincidentally with the recruitment process and is evolving. Women were recruited actively, because their voices tend to be clearer on the radio and, according to experience in the VTS, women do not get excited . . c .urlng emergencies. Shore-based pilotage (or passage-assisted transits) are provided on a limited basis under very select criteria from certain VTS centers in Rotterdam, River Scheldt, and London using pilots specially qualified for this purpose. There was general agreement that, except for these services, a VTS should not issue maneu- vering orders to a vessel. The delegation was told, however, of one worst-case scenario in the Thames estuary during the 1970s when, after a pilot died, a female watchstander at the London VTS, supervised by a veteran VTS control- ler, effectively guided- a foreign vessel with severe language incompatibilities to an anchorage to await; arrival of a replacement pilot. The female voice in con- junction with the woman's calm demeanor on the radio allowed the VTS to gain the ship captain's attention. Captain Hofstee reported that shore-based pilotage is undergoing European assessment. The northern consortium (the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, and Norway) is conducting fundamental research, while the southern consortium is looking at long-term implementation of shore-based pilotage. Regarding VTS interventions to prevent accidents, there was general agree- ment that a VTS should provide timely and accurate information and should
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SUMMARY REPORT OF EUROPEAN TRIP 457 correct any obviously erroneous information detected from radio conversations. Whether or to what degree a VTS should intervene proactively is an open ques- tion. In Rotterdam, the pilots are firm in asserting their responsibility for the efficiency and safety of vessel operations; they want correct traffic information upon which to act. The Rotterdam VTS appears not to take a proactive role. Because safety is the driving force for VTS in Dutch waters of the river system, the River Scheldt VTS is more likely than others to intervene to the point of providing navigational advice (something short of maneuvering orders). Howev- er, a pilot is usually available in the center and would be able to assist. If trouble begins on the water, the Flushing VTS is obliged to intervene because of oversight expectations from the Dutch marine courts, which can sus- pend or take away licenses. There is special training on how to give information, beginning with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines. If necessary, the VTS gives warnings preceded by "Attention!" The VTS tapes voice and digitized radar of all near-misses on the system. This material is avail- able for marine accident investigations and also is usedfor training and learning purposes. In London, no pilot was assigned to the VTS although the pilot dispatch office is in an adjacent building. (A pilot position is being added at the center now that the pilots are employees of the port authority.) The London VTS will intervene to the point of providing navigational information. During the delega- tion's visit, an inbound tanker lost its radar in fog. The pilot was very willing to accept navigational advice from the VTS watch in the form of periodic range and bearing to anchorage. Pilot acceptance has been a slow process but today pilots make demands on the system.5 Acceptance of VTS by users was characterized as high. "Space management" within European VTS systems appeared to the com- mittee's delegation to rely on pilot-initiated actions, except during exceptional circumstances when systems operated by port authorities become more involved. The nature and extent of VTS interventions also appears related, to some degree, to the personalities of the harbormasters and their understanding of their role and .. . . . responsl01 tales. VTS Initiatives of the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities The International Association of Lighthouse Authorities' (IALA) guidelines for VTS were adopted by IMO in 1978. Today, these guidelines are being com SSince the delegation's visit, arrangements have been made for pilots to become more involved in the VTS systems operation (I. M. H. SIater, Thames Navigation Service, personal communication, June 29, 1993).
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458 APPENDIX H promised, and the IALA VTS committee is determining what revisions are need- ed. Revisions to the IALA VTS definition will specify that a VTS must have a capability to interact with and respond to vessel traffic and must be dedicated to the traffic. Committee work is accomplished in work groups. Captain G. Kop, chair- man of the IALA VTS committee, made the following observations on work . . group activities: . VTS communications procedures. Most procedures are laid down in in- ternational law, but there is a high degree of diversity nevertheless. Basic work is being done on communications procedures. . VTS recruitment and training. This group has accomplished a lot. There will probably be an IMO resolution in 1992 or 1993 on the topic. Training would include validation. · Identification and tracking systems. The group is looking at requirements, capabilities, speed, and what a system should do or not do. Regarding automated reporting and information systems (ARIS), prototypes are being developed by Germany and Norway, and the United States is interested as well. These three nations and Holland are represented on the working group. Radio frequency allocation is an active issue. Holland is thinking about installing ARIS on its Coast Guard cutters. · IALA/IAPH/IMPA VTS guide. The guide has already been produced, and the binder is given at no cost. Port-specific information is given at each port. There is a standard format (Weeks, 1992b). · VTS cost-benefit calculations. This is a long-term development project. · VTS environmental aspects. Integration of operational and safety data from multiple locations on coastwise shipping is under consideration. An infor- mation source of this type would provide a more complete basis for marine safety activities. · VTS legal. This group is conducting a long-term review of legal issues. The IALA committee, at the request of IMO, is developing proposed changes to IMO's VTS guidelines (IMO, 1985a).
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