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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Maritime and SMS

I am Heading the Pacific Maritime Institute today! 

There are many similarities between the challenges of the airline pilot and the harbor pilot. Today I will be taking a break from my regular studies to drop by PMI and partake in some training. When I asked Captain Jim Wright about Maritime and SMS and this was his response: 


Captain Wright: 

"The maritime industry is becoming more proactive regarding SMS. The pilotage segment of the industry, being relatively small in numbers, has relied on both intra and inter-organizational dialogue to address safety issues. Of prime safety concern over my career has been what might be called “getting to and from work” issues. 

 It seems somewhat inconsistent in this day of glass-bridges and automation that pilots still go to work in small “pilot-boats” and then climb up the side of the ship on a rope ladder. After losing a number of pilots in pilot-ladder accidents, the Australian Pilot Authority decreed that vessels showing up with inadequate or improperly rigged ladders would be put to anchor until the problem was corrected. Almost overnight it seemed that the desired safety improvements began to spread. Soon even ships showing up in Alaska ports had improved pilot ladders.

Our recent Risk & Resource Management class at PMI included 2 Columbia River Bar pilots. Pilot ladders are an important part of their safety culture due to boarding in extreme sea and swell conditions. They have instituted a new policy where every boarding/disembarking is video recorded for later review by the pilots. This gives them an opportunity to debrief their performance on the ladder. Although the Columbia River Bar videos are proprietary the following U-tube video (probably at some European port) shows the potential hazards of “going to work” for harbor pilots:

In this case the problem appears to have begun when the pilot reached for the ladder before ensuring the pilot boat was pressed in hard against the side of the ship. We were quite fortunate in SW Alaska in not having lost a pilot from a pilot ladder fall – at least during my career. Nonetheless, every one of our pilots could tell some alarming pilot ladder stories.

As an aside, a part of many harbor pilots safety culture is watching air-crash videos and comparing causes similar to those in maritime casualties. Most likely this doesn’t work the other way around."

Update Next Week!

Have a GREAT weekend!
Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene

1 comment:

  1. Let me make an observation. It's related to recent articles in the news this week about the move in the automotive safety world to change the word "accident" to "crash." The point of advocates seeking this change is to remove the idea some things are inevitable (god made it happen) that's associated with the word "accident" to something that's less sure and pre-ordained. The advocates believe if you think it's human related then you might believe it's avoidable. If you believe "it's a result of god's intervention," there's no hope to preventing the mishap in the future.

    I mention this because it appears in the marine world as well as the aviation world, there are many "that's the cost of doing business" risks that could be eliminated if the perspective was we can do something better.

    What I mean is if you believe mishaps are inevitable then there's no room for improvement. If you believe they aren't, then there's a potential to make a better design or change something that should improve things.

    I am not surprised to find parallels in the aviation world with other vocations. My hope is we all believe there is always a better way of doing things. A result of that is a safer way of doing business.




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