Safety measures for vessels

21 Mar 2020 / Grand Bahama Anchorage, Bahamas

Grand Bahama Independent Pilots wish to advise on the necessary precautions that must be adhered to in order to mitigate against the threat of transmission of the COVID-19 virus to our pilots during the various stages of the operation.

Prior to Pilot boarding

One hour before Pilot boards;

  • Sanitize vessel’s bridge and equipment including;
    - radars
    - pilot chair
    - piloting stations and open bridge wings
    - consoles o binoculars
    - door handles
    - chart tables
    - bridge windows
  • Advise Pilot or port officials on the health status of all persons on board; where there are ill persons aboard, the nature of the illness is to be disclosed.

Whilst Pilot is boarding

  • A further advisory to Pilot, via VHF radio, on the health status of all persons on board; where there are ill persons aboard, the nature of the illness is to be disclosed.
  • All shipboard personnel to, as far as practicable, maintain a personal space of at least two (2) metres away from the pilot
  • One-person only to escort the Pilot to the bridge
  • Only the escort and Pilot to be in stairwell or ship’s elevator when proceeding or departing the bridge

When Pilot on the vessel’s bridge

  • The Pilot will not greet any shipboard personnel with the customary handshake
  • Two (2) metre personal space to be borne in mind when completing Master/Pilot information exchange
  • For the near future, whilst the Pilot remains obliged to inform on his name, he should not be mandated to sign any documents including;
    - Security logs
    - Pilot cards
    - Master/Pilot exchange forms
  • Only essential members of the crew are to be present in the wheelhouse during the conduct of the manoeuvre all of whom must sanitize their hands
  • Crew members and Pilots should avoid touching their own faces
  • Hand sanitizing material should be made available to Pilot and crew when on the bridge

Pilots will not board incoming vessels arriving within the last fourteen (14) days from our government-listed high-risk countries. Any vessel that has visited countries with a high incidence of the COVID-19 virus, less than fourteen days ago, would not be boarded. Additionally, where any crew member has joined the vessel within the last fourteen (14) days, Pilots will not be permitted aboard until further information on the specific crew is obtained and analyzed. We thank you for your assistance and understanding and we work to keep our Pilots and your vessel’s complement safe during these uncertain times.

(For information about operations in the Bahamas, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at [email protected])

Source: Grand Bahama Independent Pilots Advisory Bulletin Re: COVID-19 Pandemic dated 20 March 2020

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