Bickering Egyptian pilots have been blamed for this year’s most high profile shipping casualty:

Might have been why it was wheeling poorly. I’ve always associated the bow squat with the larger bullkers (like the Cape Ships in your model) due to the hull shape and low UKC. However I would guess that because of the Given’s size this probably would have been a factor. Something to think about…

The model mentioned… is that something like what they are doing in Port Headland?

Yes. ULCV’s may have inherently poor steerage response at sub-critical RPM range and then factor in steaming by the head owing to bow down squat….equivalent to controlling a bowling ball on an ice rink.

The same service provider with the same software only a slightly different application.

Port Hedland is now sailing up to 8 capes on a tide and their use of the software was intended to maximise tonnage throughput being an iron ore port.

Our application was not about maximising throughput but about preventing the vessels touching bottom when they rolled to the beam swell at the entrance. It introduced a definitive scientific approach to what had been more of a guessing competition previously. It’s acronym was SAUCS. Swell and Underkeel Clearance System.


I believe that an officer was supervising the pilot boarding as per SOLAS since the pilot only complained about being escorted by a cadet. He would have known that an officer is required to supervise his boarding. Perhaps the pilot wasn’t happy he wasn’t able to start asking for “gifts” immediately upon boarding, knowing that a cadet would neither have the resources nor the authority to provide them. The officer, after the pilot boarded, was most likely tasked with dealing with the agent & clearance papers, supervising securing of the ladder, standing by the anchors, preparing the Suez Canal davit, dealing with the canal electrician/line boatmen, and/or the many other tasks that come with a canal transit. There’s nothing in SOLAS requiring an officer to escort a pilot to the bridge. The pilot should be escorted to the bridge as quickly as possible y someone with a working walkie talkie bypassing the galley & other distracting off limits areas. Also, it’s been my experience that the standard practice of SC pilots is that they will only board by gangway, not pilot ladders nor combination ladders and that both gangways are to be rigged & ready with the pilot choosing which one he will use. To Heiwa, stopping your ships to pick up a pilot at sea makes it very difficult to provide a proper lee for a safe boarding. If I was a pilot, I would want the Captain to get me aboard safely and forego the hardhat. Stopping “your” ships in the canal without any tugs to assist from grounding and all the consequences that come with that? Whatever your job was, sounds like you were way over your head and out of your element.


I don’t put hardhats on them nor stop the vessel , slow down a bit perhaps, and conditions permitting, may take the engines out of gear just before boarding. But it is safer for the pilot boat to come alongside having some way on the vessel and making a lee.

The other question that I have regarding this incident is whether the SCA undertook any simulation studies for ULCV transits prior to their introduction.

The place to safely find out if a Pilotage Act is doable, under all expected meteorological conditions, is in a simulator. If it is found not to be manageable under certain conditions then you place limits on entry to the canal until such time as conditions have improved.


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Excellent point.

What i can say from my own experience is, that to be allowed to command cont vsl 300-320/40-42 i had to complete training at the recognised/certified simulation center but anything bigger then that -especially ULCV ( behemoths) required Handling of Large Ships and Ships with Unusual Manoeuvring Characteristics course with Manned Model at Warsash or quivalent/recognised institution.

Last time i transited SC (5 years ago) i asked the pilot the same question and he confirmed , those who were assigned to anything very large or ultra had completed manned model training .

Unfortunately we can not verify at that moment if this “assignment rule” was adhered to in case of EG . What we know for sure is SCA did not provide required tug escort as required by their own home made RON.

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On the issue of simulation versus other training I dug into my hard drives and extracted from Pilotmag issue 320 (2016) an excellent article .

Would appreciate very much Your Sir and other commentators/pilots input and/or comment on the content.

_Pilotmag-320 pilotage on the edge of chaos.pdf (174.6 KB)

I must admit that is my mistake and you were right. Some mix up with other formulas, I should have been more careful.

Errare humanum est .We both know it and we both learn as we go . Cheers and have a wonderful day.
(3) Eric Idle - “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” - STEREO HQ - YouTube

uuups…think i have misunderstood your input/point-my non-native speaker blunder. Sorry for confusion thus created.

A post was split to a new topic: VLCS Ever Given underway en route Port Said

Another interesting Barrass formula of which I prepared a graph.

Maximum speed in the graph is 16 knots as speeds above that in confined waters are not very well possible.

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Nice piece.

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Any person who thinks “stopping” a ship to embark a Pilot has (obviously) no experience at sea, or even witnessed this process first hand. If they had, they’d no better than to suggest it. I disembark ships at anchor in an offshore anchorage. Even on a nice day, its a crappy proposition.


12 posts were split to a new topic: Running short-handed Cadet at the pilot ladder etc