June 23, 2019 - The Union of Seafarers of Montenegro has sent more comments and suggestions to the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs regarding the preparations of the new Maritime Safety Act, currently being drafted in the Ministry headed by Osman Nurkovic.
From the Union, they have been advocated by the lawmakers to impose an obligation that all ships of more than 300 meters long and 40 meters wide that go to Boka Bay must have two instead of one pilots.
“From the security point of view, and because of the minimal maneuvering space, and the large number of vessels in the small waters of Boka Bay, big ships should have the help of two pilots. Examination on them is limited; two pilots would have made it easier and safer to perform a complex job of pilots,” states the explanation addressed to the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Transport.
During the more significant part of the year, mega cruising ships are running regularly in Boka, some of which are over 300 meters long, so it is safe to navigate boats of so many mistakes through the challenging navigation area and the limited space of the Gulf of Boka very hard for the crew and pilots. They suggested from the Union to the Ministry and stipulated by law the obligation to use tugs, or suppressors for larger ships when carrying out the mooring and take-off maneuvers.
“The necessary number of tugs would have to be defined concerning the tonnage of the ship. Also, it is required to oblige the port operator who accepts these ships to have a related harbor service, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “
They explain that sailing from a port is a complicated job, highly dependent on meteorological conditions, as well as the technic validity of the ship’s equipment and power plant.
“The consequences of an eventual strike on a ship, shore and the like can be catastrophic, especially in Boka. To avoid the possibility of poor estimates and human error, it is possible to safely perform a maneuver even in the event of a sudden cancellation of a ship’s facility or other vital devices, and in the case of deteriorated meteorological conditions, the mandatory use of tugs/lifts must be legally prescribed and such service in ports adequately organized “.
They point out that this is common practice in all well-organized and safe ports in the world.
“Please note that until now, in the waters of Boka, there have been some luckily escaped incidents, which could have catastrophic consequences. Also, some events led to damage to the ship. The safety of ports and vessels in it and the reduction of environmental hazards must be secured at a far higher level than the current one. The current situation, especially in Kotor, is unacceptable and far from safe. “
From the Union of Seafarers they suggested the general ban on the movement of vessels in the Boka aquatics should be higher than 10 knots for certain categories of smaller, fast vessels of 2.5 to 7 meters long and that they were “in certain, precisely defined parts of the b, permit higher cruising speed than currently prescribed.”