Dutch Pilots measures on the new coronavirus

Rotterdam - 24 aug 2021


Dear captain,

With regard to the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), we are taking the health risks for our pilots and employees as well as captains and crews seriously. As pilots, we are well aware of and fully understand the concerns that live on board of vessels regarding the risks of contamination during the port call.

Piloting sea-going vessels has been designated by the authorities as a vital process. We do everything in our power to keep the health risks as low as possible in order to maintain our business operations. 

Our company is committed to the instructions of the National Government, the National Institute for Public Health and Environmental Protection and the Port Health Authority regarding measures to protect pilots, employees, captains and crews. We are in constant contact with the authorities, the Harbour Masters’ Offices and our fellow nautical service providers to discuss the operational impact of the measures taken. 

Pilots and employees that show symptoms (as described by the authorities) related to this virus are instructed to stay at home. All non-necessary internal and external meetings have been cancelled. All pilots and employees have been instructed to practice social distancing during business hours as well as in their private time. 

We have provided extensive information about (preventive) measures and have instructed our pilots and employees to follow these strictly. Our Coordination Team is overseeing emergency plans and procedures to maintain our business operations. 

Preventive measures by the pilot: 

  • We have instructed pilots and employees to maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters, avoid physical contact and follow the recommendations on personal hygiene. 
  • We have reduced the maximum number of pilots to be to transported to and from sea by helicopter, pilot boat or, in case of outgoing vessels, by taxi. 
  • Pilots will not shake hands when they come on board a vessel. 
  • Visitors are not allowed on our premises or on board our vessels until further notice. 
  • Our offices have been closed wherever possible and employees have been instructed to  work from home.       
  • We do our utmost to comply with company policies on board vessels. If requested, pilots will use sanitizer, a face mask or gloves offered by the captain or the crew.

Preventive measures by the ship: 

We also need to ensure that all ships are safe for the pilots. In order to mitigate the transmission of the coronavirus, we kindly request that the following measures be taken prior to pilot boarding. 
Where possible, one hour before the pilot embarkation time, non-essential crew should remain clear of the designated route from the pilot embarkation point (either pilot ladder, accommodation ladder, etc.) to the wheelhouse, especially where the route is within enclosed spaces. 

  • Immediately prior to pilot embarkation, all surfaces and equipment in the wheelhouse, or on the bridge wings, that the pilot may touch must be cleaned with a suitable cleaning solution. 
  • Where possible, the route from the embarkation point to the wheelhouse should be via the open deck.
  • As a general rule we request that all crew that is not involved in the navigation is clear from the workspace. During the voyage the distance between persons should be a minimum of 1.5 meters. The wheelhouse should be cleared of all crew not essential to the navigation of the vessel. 
  • The wheelhouse, where possible, should remain well ventilated via the opening of external doors or windows. 
  • Crew entering the bridge should thoroughly clean hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water - hand sanitation is key in preventing transmission of the virus! 
  • On board, the pilot will use his own equipment as much as possible and will be reluctant to touch the bridge equipment. If he wishes to adjust any settings of the bridge equipment, he might request the ship’s crew to do this for him.  

We trust that you will understand our position in this matter and we count on your cooperation to take care of your own health and that of our pilots and employees. Thank you for assisting us in keeping one another safe. 

Capt. T.S. de Groot
President Rotterdam Pilots 

J.B. Mulder
President Dutch Pilots’ Corporation 

Update COVID