- Feb 26, 2017
There would be no need for any fancy engine use. The normal practice was to simply take the way off the vessel then go full astern until the wake started to spread out. You can actually see it doing so in the original photograph
You’re right Jim; «no need for any fancy engine use». Smith just had to kick out the pilot from the bridge a few minutes above Saint Helen’s pilot station, rudder cycling a little bit to get the stress down then from full ahead, order full vibrations astern. After a few 360° through eddies, the rowboat would be alongside in split seconds. The pilot just had to jump head first in the row boat as Smith had already ordered full steam ahead some more. Time to a Master was money too Jim.
The real danger at pilot station is for an inbound vessel under the command of a zombie captain who has been doing about nothing for weeks. The pilot has to «advice» him as to the embarkation leeward side, the heading to maintain, and the maximum speed at which to proceed. Ounce bouncing alongside, the pilot has to inspect the Jacob’s ladder to make sure is not manure rotten, make a prayer and jump on the ladder at 3.00am.
As in this present case, the pilot disembarkation for an outbound vessel was a totally different story as it was the pilot who had the conduct. He would order any fancy heading and engine settings he judged necessary to ascertain disembarkation as safe as possible, as his own life (and the ones on the rowing open boat) depended on it. He didn’t even have to ask the permission from his grandmother neither his nephew to execute the safer maneuver possible.
Once again, a veteran Sandy Hook ship pilot has died after falling during boarding an «inbound» containership in the Port of New York on Monday morning December 30, 2019.