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Home* News and Stories → Com­pul­so­ry pilo­ta­ge in Spits­ber­gen

Com­pul­so­ry pilo­ta­ge in Spits­ber­gen

The Nor­we­gi­an Kyst­ver­ket (coas­tal and navi­ga­ti­on aut­ho­ri­ty) plans to intro­du­ce com­pul­so­ry pilo­ta­ge for most of the waters around Spits­ber­gen. Coal freigh­ters to Sveagru­a­va may have to car­ry pilots alrea­dy in the upco­m­ing sum­mer of 2012. From 2014, this will app­ly to all ships lon­ger than 70 metres and pas­sen­ger ships lon­ger than 24 metres. Only parts of Isfjord and Bellsund will be exclu­ded.

Cap­tains with suf­fi­ci­ent expe­ri­ence and local know­ledge can, after a test, be cer­ti­fied to be excep­ted from com­pul­so­ry pilo­ta­ge. If this is prac­ti­ca­ble remains to be seen: cos­ts and fees will be high, and it should cur­r­ent­ly not be taken for gran­ted that tests will be avail­ab­le in other lan­guages than Nor­we­gi­an. Ano­t­her requi­re­ment will pro­bab­ly be that a cer­ti­fied Cap­tain or navi­ga­ti­on offi­cer is in char­ge on the bridge at any time when the ship is moving. This will hard­ly be prac­ti­ca­ble for smal­ler ships and it does not con­tri­bu­te anything to nau­ti­cal safe­ty: lar­ge parts of most com­mon sai­ling rou­tes in Spits­ber­gen (Sval­bard) are nau­ti­cal­ly very easy and strai­ght­for­ward and can easi­ly be hand­led by all navi­ga­ti­on offi­cers.

Smal­ler ships bet­ween 24 and 100 metres, so-cal­led expe­di­ti­on crui­se ships, will be threa­tened with an immedia­te ter­mi­na­ti­on of their acti­vi­ties: the cos­ts for pilo­ta­ge during a 10 day crui­se will be bey­ond 100,000 Euro, an amount that makes sai­ling eco­no­mi­c­al­ly com­ple­te­ly impos­si­ble.

Lar­ge parts of the waters around Spits­ber­gen are deep and well enough char­ted by now to allow com­pa­ra­tively easy navi­ga­ti­on. Whe­re pilots can be found who can make a noti­ce­ab­le dif­fe­rence in more dif­fi­cult waters, com­pa­red to what pre­sent-day Cap­tains can do, remains an open ques­ti­on at the time of wri­ting. The law is sup­po­sed to enter for­ce on 01 July 2012.

Spits­ber­gen is annu­al­ly visi­ted by ships of dif­fe­rent sizes. The har­bor of Ny Åle­sund.

Compulsory pilotage in Spitsbergen - Cruise ship and sailing ship, Ny Alesund

Source: Kyst­ver­ket

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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