Rate this article:  

Changes to the pilot boarding grounds near Port of Singapore’s Eastern Fairway will take effect on 1 January 2015.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) recently introduced a revision of the Singapore eastern pilot boarding grounds and measures to enhance safety of navigation for the eastern approaches to the Port of Singapore. The changes will take effect from 00:01 (local time) on 1 January 2015 and include:

  • Relocation of Singapore Pilot Eastern Boarding Ground “B” (PEBGB) to position (01° 15.408’ N, 103° 56.956’ E).
  • Implementation of a new Singapore Pilot Eastern Boarding Ground “C” (PEBGC) at position (01° 15.885’ N, 103° 57.834’ E).
  • Establishing a scheduling system ensuring that only one vessel will be arranged to arrive at PEBGB and PEBGC at any one time and at intervals of not less than 15 minutes. The MPA recommends vessels to:
    • maintain a minimum separation distance of one nautical mile to the vessel ahead,
    • proceed at a safe speed by taking into account the factors set forth by Rule 6 of the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREG),
    • when crossing a traffic lane, to do so at right angles to the general direction of traffic flow in accordance with Rule 10 of COLREG, and
    • display details of their designated pilot boarding ground to others via their Automatic Identification System (AIS).

There are no changes to other existing Pilot Boarding Grounds in the Port of Singapore.

Full details of the changes can be found in MPA’s Port Marine Circular No.15 of 2014 of 1 December 2014 and includes a chartlet showing the revisions to the Pilot Boarding Grounds as well as a tabulated summary of actions to be taken. All MPA’s recent port marine circulars can be found here: http://www.mpa.gov.sg/sites/port_and_shipping/circulars_and_notices/port_marine_circulars.page.

Members and clients are generally advised to use the charted pilot embarkation and disembarkation points.

According to IMO Resolution A.960(23) “Recommendations on training and Certification and operational procedures for maritime pilots other than deep-sea pilots”, there are two important requirements for the pilot boarding point:

1)   it should be at a sufficient distance from the commencement of the act of pilotage to allow safe boarding conditions, and

2)   be situated at a place allowing for sufficient time and sea room to meet the requirements of the master-pilot information exchange.

Recent incidents investigated by Gard show that a common factor in incidents involving pilots is that the pilot boarding point was frequently closer to the harbour entrance than the charted boarding point. Time constraints and less available sea room before the final stage of the voyage, resulted in an inadequate exchange of information sharing between the master and the pilot – and again insufficient time for the ship’s crew to familiarise themselves with the pilot’s intended passage plan.