A UK ship pilot has died following an accident during pilot transfer in northern England’s Humber estuary.
The accident took place January 8, 2023 while the pilot was transferring from a pilot transfer boat to a large ocean going vessel, the UK Maritime Pilots’ Association (UK MPA) confirmed in a statement posted to Twitter.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is investigating the incident.
The UK MPA confirmed the victim as Francesco Galia, a UK Maritime pilot with two decades of experience.
“As a Pilot, Francesco Galia was known for his passion for the maritime industry and his dedication to his job. His loss is all the more devastating as we understand that he was shortly to retire after many years of service in the maritime industry, with the last two decades as a Pilot,” the UK MPA said in a statement.
The organization highlighted the risks and challenges maritime pilots face on a daily basis, emphasizing the tragedy.
“They are responsible for safely navigating ships in and out of ports and harbors, often under complex and hazardous conditions, transferring from one vessel to another by nothing more than a rope ladder. This is always a risky
“The movement of the pilot boat bringing the Pilot alongside, the ship’s motion, and the potential for equipment failure, requires precise timing and coordination of the ship, the pilot vessel, and the exact judgment of the Pilot as they step from one moving platform to another moving platform, often in pitch darkness in the dead of night,” the UK MPA said.
The UK MPA is extending its “deepest condolences to loved ones, friends and colleagues,” and offers its support to “all those affected by this terrible news.”
“We urge the maritime industry and regulatory authorities, once again, to prioritize safety and training with regard to the transfer of Pilots and crew, and to invest in safe and reliable technologies and procedures to ensure that our Maritime Pilots and seafarers return home safe after every voyage,” the statement added.
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