It is evident from the other chapters of this Guide dealing with the technical aspects of ship berthing that the effective use of pilotage and towage services is crucial in avoiding accidents. It is therefore important to reflect briefly on the legal responsibilities of pilots, those engaged in towage services, and the ships that they assist.
Tugs are usually employed according to the practice of the port after taking into account the capabilities of the available tug types.
When berthing without tugs, it is essential that the effects of lateral motion are fully understood.
When a ship moving forward turns by use of engines and rudder alone, the effect of centrifugal force is to push the ship laterally away from the direction of the turn.
The costs of repatriation of stowaways (as well as sick crew members) are covered by the Club. Repatriation of stowaways can be difficult, time consuming and expensive – always complete a thorough stowaway search before departure and always maintain a gangway watch.
The P&I Club does not cover damage caused to the ship itself – that is the responsibility of the hull underwriters. If a collision only results in damage to your ship, your P&I Club will probably not be involved financially but it may assist the owner.
In the event of an incident or allegation which gives, or may give, rise to a P&I problem there are certain actions which you should always take and certain actions which you should never take. These actions are listed on this page. The checklists which follow are designed to help you to remember what to do and who to call.
Tonnage is used for many purposes in shipping - for assessment of port and harbor dues, pilotage charges, canal tolls, insurance premiums, manning levels, maritime statistics, limitations of liability, and as a criteria for application of regulations made under International Conventions, in particular, SOLAS 74/78.