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 bill of lading is a record of the quantity of cargo and of its apparent order and condition at the time of shipment and, as such, is a vitally important document. Cargo damage or shortage claims can result from errors in the quantity and condition of cargo recorded on the bills of lading.
The most common type of pollution is by oil. However, P&I cover is not limited merely to oil pollution; any pollution which originates from or is caused by the ship is covered (e.g. smoke or garbage).
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.
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.