Orders disputed pilot boats back in service

Pilot boats Tananger emergency hatchesPilot boats 125, 126 and 129 in Tananger port, where they will have emergency hatches installed. Photo: Andreas Askildsen / Sysla.no

Orders the disputed pilot boats back into operation

The pilots are afraid of using the three pilot boats, which have been out of service since February. Now the Director goes against the safety delegate and union representatives.

 

In February of this year, three of the newest pilot boats were docked after the safety delegate invoked § 6-3 of the Working Environment Act – An Ombudsman’s right to halt dangerous work.

Ever since two people died in an accident involving a similar boat in Finland last year, the pilots have asked for the boats to be docked.

Only after one of the pilots experienced what is described as a dramatic event in Korsfjorden on February 15th this year, and the security delegate intervened, the Pilot Director adhered to the claim.

Since then, the pilot service in Viksøy, Egersund and Tananger in Rogaland has been used replacement boats.

Defies safety delegate

Pilot Director Erik Blom is ordering the pilot boats back in service.

This emerges from a letter he sent to the Pilot Oldermen, union representatives and safety delegate on June 5th.

– It is the Pilot Director’s clear perception that setting weather and operating limits for the boats removes the increased risk connected to using the boats, he writes.

This happens despite the fact that the security delegate confirms to Sysla that he is upholding his decision from February this year.

Blom tells Sysla that they have worked to get in touch with both the security service and the union representatives after the boats were docked.

– We have been working to set limitations on when the boats can be used, which everyone is happy with, but that has not yet succeeded, he says.

Facts about the pilot boats

  • The three boats that are still out of service were delivered by the Finnish shipyard Kewatec in 2016.
  • The boats are 14.9 metres long and among the shortest in the fleet used to carry pilots to the ships.
  • Last year, the Finnish shipyard Kewatec built three pilot boats for Bukser og Berging, which were delivered last and this year.
  • These are two metres longer than the three Kewatec model 1600 P, which are now docked for an indefinite period.
  • February 15th this year, it was known that the Finnish shipyard is to deliver another two boats to Bukser og Berging at the end of 2018. These boats are even bigger – 18.2 metres long and weighing approximately 23 metric tons.

 

© Sysla.no / #Norway Today

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