Coronavirus and technical-nautical services

Harbour pilots: making Italy proud

by Port News Editorial Staff

“The technical-nautical services in general and, in particular, harbour pilots, in our current emergency situation, will continue to operate to guarantee the safety of shipping and berthing, supporting the daily work of our harbour masters” confirmed Francesco Bandiera, President of Fedepiloti, the Italian Harbour Pilots Federation, in a press note.

“The emergency we are going through” – he adds – “is teaching us that a real Crisis Management Plan is fundamental. Once things get better, I think this issue is worth facing. Even the pilot service could benefit from it by providing more appropriate and homogeneous response models.”

Bandiera out points out that at the moment none of their pilots have tested positive to the virus (only two episodes of voluntary preventive isolation have been recorded). He complains about the lack of personal protective equipment, however (“We were among the first to equip ourselves with gloves and masks. Today we are working non-stop on a number of fronts to get hold of what we need as soon as possible”).

For Fedepiloti’s president the decision, shared with the Harbour Master’s Offices Command Centre, to “reorganize shifts in order to avoid direct contact between pilots, as well as to schedule harbour traffic to try to avoid, as far as possible, the presence of more than one vessel at the same time, without falling short of traffic requirements” is essential.

The theme that is dear to the Association is clear: “The decisions taken by the Government are certainly consistent with the emergency situation and it is essential to follow the directions given. Those who can stay at home and those who, like us and the other technical and nautical services, must go out to keep the minimum services necessary for the community active, must do so responsibly. Let’s slow down now to be ready to speed up later.”

Translation by Giles Foster

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