Any recent news on Ever Forward grounding?

Otherwise known as the “race to the bottom”.

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The analogy fails in that, in an airline environment, you have (generally) two people who are:

  1. Type-rated in the aircraft they’re flying.
  2. The same nationality (generalizing US airlines here).
  3. Speak the same native language.
  4. Work for the same company and are very familiar with those company-specific standards and procedures.

Pilots (of the marine kind) don’t have nearly that kind of consistency or true idea of what to expect until they get on the bridge and size things up. So often is the captain on his first hitch on the ship (or first trip ever as master), transiting this port for the first time, a different nationality from the rest of the crew (and officers) and, wouldn’t you know it, it’s nighttime and the weather is bad. The pilot is clearly going to have a higher burden placed on their shoulders than if it was a regular caller with a regular captain and crew going to the same berth for the 1000th time.

Elements of BRM are clearly effective in pilotage environments (often the pilot needs to be the one to initiate some delegation) but the analogy to aviation-style CRM is not a fair comparison. A marine pilot serves a very different role and deals with far more variables in terms of the type of bridge team (and ship) they’ll encounter compared to an airline cockpit.

You’ve actually just made the argument in favor of the monopoly (which, people tend to forget, was in place in many areas of the US at one point). As OneEighteen alluded to, the pilot associations are the subject matter experts in their respective ports with regards to setting these standards. Throwing that away in favor of competition is going to result in the envelope being pushed further until or unless a regulatory body steps up to set hard standards. Who and what that body is doesn’t exist.


The adaptation of CRM principles into the maritime arena was a necessary step for change. Change required for a profession which is a hell of a lot older than the aviation sector so a great deal of habitual practices and dangerous thinking to overcome. It was never going to have any where near the success that the aviation sector has enjoyed although we are comparing apples with pears.

As NWWaterman succinctly pointed out……

  1. Type-rated in the aircraft they’re flying.
  2. The same nationality (generalizing US airlines here).
  3. Speak the same native language.
  4. Work for the same company and are very familiar with those company-specific standards and procedures.

Not only these advantages, but when an aircraft is required to immediately return to an airport for whatever reason the Pilot will either declare an emergency or mayday and ATC will then advise him/her of an available runway and issue vectors to get the aircraft back. The decision making process is undertaken by trained individuals outside the aircraft which inherently supports Cockpit/Crew Resource Management.

The Maritime sector does not have this overall functionality and I would suggest it will be some time before they do.

Additionally, aircraft are not required to board an unknown Pilot prior to take off or landing because they already have one who is type approved, known, signed off and using exactly the same electronics and controls.

Yes it is bullshit and doomed for failure yet it was a necessary step.


If I am reading this correctly, the 3rd DID know the pilot was screwing up, but outside of physically taking over and shoving him out of the way wasn’t going to get anywhere.
So it was probably a pretty big mistake for the master to be elsewhere, we can assume that. But say he was on the bridge, if the pilot insists on doing X when Y looks like a better idea, would you not maybe think the guy lives here, he probably knows the channel shoaled in and the deeper spot is over there? I guess a forceful “WHY ARE YOU SAILING OUTSIDE OF THE CHANNEL” would at least get that question answered.
BTW, for those not local, it was a nice day and there are a lot of buoys showing you where to go. No charts at all are needed, just two eyeballs and a window :wink:


Just FYI, there are or were one or two airports in the world that did/do require a maritime type pilot be taken aboard to land at unless you get signed off for that specific airport. IIRC Hong Kong was one of them and the other is in the Caribbean someplace.

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On number of occasions after picking up the pilot off Port Angeles and proceeding to Seattle the pilot informed me that under Washington State law the master was not required on the bridge. I stayed,
A voyage up the Amazon to Manus requires the master to cross the bar and proceed up to Macapa, 170 miles up the river where two pilots join.
I left them to it for the next two days. The Brazilian charts were inaccurate with many GPS fixes showing the vessel inland.
There was really nothing I could do but write letters after a grounding.

St. Barth’s

Sal has just released his thoughts this morning.

If Evergreen Shipping have a requirement, within their SMS, for the Master to be present on the bridge during times of constrained channel Pilotage then there is negligence on both sides.
The interesting outcome of this report may be how cargo owners/insurers are now feeling having been required to stump up general average outlays owing to the actions of these individuals…………

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Especially when the pilot displayed a level of gross negligence almost beyond comprehension. This is the kind of thing we usually expect out of drunk powerboaters around here, not paid professionals.

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Complacency is an unforgiving bitch.

No additional person serving in a role equivalent to a maritime pilot is required at St. Barts or Hong Kong. Special training and a check ride with a designated instructor is required for St. Barts and special airport procedure training is required for Hong Kong as it is for air carrier flights into many airports even in the US. The American version of the rules is in 14CFR 121.445. There is an FAA list of airports that require special pilot in command qualification. Virtually all of them except for DC are for mountainous terrain.
Th idea of putting an “airport pilot” into the cockpit of any airplane is absurd at best. Substituting an airline trained FO with some local guide during a critical period is almost funny in some respects. For a privately owned and operated 2 or 4 seat aircraft flying the family into St. Barts would mean leaving the wife or one of the kids behind someplace. St. Barts may still require the few hours of ground school and a couple hours of approaches and landings for an airport endorsement (probably available in Sint Maarten if still required) then your are on your own.

Let me see if I understand this correctly. Maritime industry will continue to make excuses of how it is different and special and too hard to improve operations because “we are different”. Yet every other industry strives to make continuous improvements. But shipping can’t do this because reasons. Got it!

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… without having to pay for it.

No, it is abundantly clear to me that you do not understand this correctly and you certainly don’t get it.

I don’t get making excuses and rationalizing failure? Guess so.

I’m glad guys “didn’t get it” when they said man would never fly like the birds, or go to the moon, or be able flush shit down a pipe instead of tossing it out of the pot from a window…

I am unaware of your background or expertise/experience in the Maritime sector as you have elected not to provide this in your public profile.

You make some big statements about the failures of BRM.

Spend some time and type “aircraft accidents” into the YouTube search engine.

Educate yourself on human factors.

St Bart doesn’t require maritime type pilots. Of couse that would be absurd. I should have made it clear that was not my opinion. A ride with a check pilot was required for commercial flights the last time I looked due to the unusual approach. I’ve never landed there but something like 3 touch and goes and they would sign you off.

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3rd mate saw pilot’s grave error before grounding occurred, and presumably AB did as well. Nothing was said. Ship grounded in area that grandma could pass a ship through. BRM failed.

BRM is bullshit and didn’t work. All else is a strawman.

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