The Pilot Boarding Area for inbound vessels is approximately 1.5 nautical miles south of Mobile Sea Buoy “M”. Please hail the Mobile Bar Pilots on VHF Channel 16 and the Pilot Station or Pilot Boat will typically switch you to the working VHF Channel 11. The Pilot Station or Pilot Boat will give more detailed instructions.
Instructions for Pilot Ladders:
- Vessels departing Mobile Anchorage to receive pilot for inbound transit should have their anchor up and be proceeding to the Pilot Boarding Area at a speed of 8 to 10 knots (unless otherwise specified by the Pilot Boat.) All other inbound vessels receiving pilots should have adjusted their speed accordingly as directed by the Pilot Boat.
- Make a heading to create a Lee Side (away from the wind/seas) so that the pilot may embark or disembark from this side.
- The Pilot Ladder (with spreaders) must be in accordance with SOLAS Regulations. This ladder must be in good repair and it is appreciated that the ladder be sturdy and clean. Position the end of the ladder 2 meters above the water and use the Combination Arrangement if the freeboard is 9 meters or more.
- The crew should have a heaving line prepared to heave up any incidentals for the pilot (Bags, Charts, other Packages)
- At night, provide a brilliant light shining forward so as to illuminate the ladder.
- No Man Ropes are required for the Pilot Ladder.
- Have a ring buoy (equipped with float light for nighttime) ready to toss overboard immediately if the pilot should fall.
- Make sure a Ship’s Officer is in attendance for the pilot embarking and that he/she has the means to communicate with the Ship’s Bridge.
- Provide an escort to the Bridge.