Prior to pilot boarding, Masters shall
- Ensure that the ETA and deepest draft is sent to Port Phillip Sea Pilots Pty
Ltd by Fax (03) 52581952, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
24 hours before arrival.
- Changes in ETA of more than one (1) hour should be amended immediately, and
the final ETA must be confirmed four (4) hours before arrival
- Establish V.H.F. contact 'Port Phillip Sea Pilots' V.H.F. Procedure as soon as possible and not
less than three (4) hours before ETA.
- Rig ladder in accordance with International Regulations, on
side advised by Pilot Station
- Ensure that all pilot ladder equipment is kept in first class condition and
to have it inspected regularly,
- Ensure that the ladder and manropes are securely made fast. Serious
accidents have occurred through inattention to these matters. Should the
equipment and the manner in which it is rigged not be satisfactory, pilotage
services may be withheld.
- Navigate vessel to correct boarding ground position and
follow directions given by pilot launch.
- Note that pilots embark and disembark from high-speed launches. All communication with Pilot Launch to be on VHF Ch 09.
Important Point To Remember
Make a good lee for the pilot launch with the wind and sea well abaft the beam
on the weather side, and a speed of about ten (10) knots for Port Phillip and
seven (7) knots for Westernport.
Listen for other orders from the launch.
Pilot Boarding Grounds
The pilot boarding ground for Port Phillip lies five (5) miles south-west from the Point Lonsdale Lighthouse (refer Charts AUS143 and AUS144).
At Western Port, the boarding ground is 3.5 miles due south of West Head
(weather permitting). In bad weather, vessels up to 9.75 metres draft may use an alternative position two (2) miles East of the jetty in Flinders Bight, (refer Chart AUS156).
Check communications procedures before
Pilot V.H.F. Procedure
The Control Station at Queenscliff is manned 24 hours by Master Pilots. VHF
watch is maintained on Channels 16 and 12.
At Westernport, Channels 16 and 14 are monitored.
Contact should be made at earliest opportunity and at least three (3) hours
prior to arrival at boarding ground. Initial contact should be made on Channel
16 by calling 'Port Phillip Sea Pilots'. Please give position, course and speed
and ETA at Pilot Boarding Ground.
Following the initial contact a listening watch should then be kept on
Channel 12 for any further instructions regarding boarding.
The pilot launch will make direct contact when abeam of Point Lonsdale or
West Head outward bound. Final boarding orders will be made from the launch on
For Embarkation and Disembarkation Of Pilots
- The pilot ladder (see poster below) constructed and rigged in
accordance with IMO requirements and IMPA recommendations, (see Chapter V,
Regulation 23 of SOLAS for pilot ladders). The ladder should be clean,
properly fitted with spreaders, well clear of all discharges and outlets,
and all outboard fittings which might foul the pilot launch. The distance
that the bottom of the ladder is to be above the water will be advised by
the pilot launch. The distance from the waterline to the point of access
must not exceed nine (9) metres.
- Where a combination ladder arrangement is required, the
accommodation ladder must be secured to the ship’s side, leading aft, and
must include a lower horizontal platform no lower than 5 metres above the
- Two (2) clean manila manropes of not less than 28mm. diameter and
not more than 32mm. diameter are to securely made fast to the ship, and
must not be made fast to the ladder at any point. The manropes must not be
longer than the ladder.
- Where the ladder is rigged over a bulwark, two (2) stanchions are
to be securely fitted in the top of the bulwark, one on each side of the
ladder, and steps are to be provided from the top of the ladder to the
- A heaving line is to be provided for mail and the pilot's bag.
- By night a bright light is to be provided, shaded to show downward
and forward but clearly illuminate the ladder and ship's side.
- Tripping lines and boat ropes are not to be used.
- An officer should be in attendance at the ladder, with life-saving
appliances ready for immediate use. The officer must also have a Portable
Radio for immediate communication with the bridge.
- For more detail, please see the attached shipping industry guidance