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Pilot embarkation procedures

  • calendar

    20 March 2020

  • location

    Sullom Voe & Scalloway, United Kingdom



Following the outbreak of the coronavirus COVID-19, the UK Department for Transport, in consultation with Public Health England, has issued updates on the spread of the virus and guidelines for necessary steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

In support of those guidelines Shetland Islands Council have instigated the following Pilot Embarkation Procedure for the embarkation of pilots and subsequent vessel transit for Sullom Voe and Scalloway.

This Pilot Embarkation Procedure applies to all vessels.

Responsibility for carrying out the following Pilot Embarkation Procedure rests with the vessel’s Master assisted by the shipowner and local ship agent as appropriate.


  • All vessels must have submitted the required Maritime Declaration of Health to Sullom Voe VTS - portcontrol@shetland.gov.uk
  • Where possible, one hour before the pilot embarkation time, nonessential crew should remain clear of the designated route from the pilot embarkation point (either pilot ladder, accommodation ladder etc.) to the wheelhouse, especially where the route is within enclosed spaces.
  • Immediately prior to pilot embarkation, all surfaces and equipment in the wheelhouse, or on the bridge wings, that the pilot may touch must be cleaned with a suitable disinfectant solution.
  • The wheelhouse, where possible, should remain well ventilated via the opening of external doors or windows.
  • Where possible, the route from the embarkation point to the wheelhouse should via the open deck, as opposed to within enclosed spaces.
  • The wheelhouse should be cleared of all crew not essential to the navigation of the vessel
  • In the wheelhouse Pilots may wear face masks and gloves at their own discretion.
  • In the wheelhouse crews may wear face masks and gloves at their Master’s discretion.
  • Unless necessary for the safety of the pilot (i.e. during the embarkation process), crew or vessel, the pilot and crew should remain at least 2m apart.
  • Similar precautions must be taken during disembarkation of the pilot ashore or to the pilot launch.

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the United Kingdom, contact GAC UK at uk@gac.com)

Source: Shetland Islands Council – Marine & Air Operations notice dated 20 March 2020