Maritime pilots are a strong and essential link in the structure that underpins the safety of international shipping. This was the message delivered by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim to the 70th meeting of the International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA) in Rome, Italy, on April 11.
Addressing an audience that included Italian pilots and Members of Government, Mr. Lim spoke about pilots as a vital part of the shipping’s human element – who use their local knowledge to help ships navigate safely into and out of ports or through dangerous waters. He also emphasized that just as pilots have a responsibility for the safety of shipping, so shipping has a responsibility for pilots’ safety.
During his visit to Rome, Secretary-General Lim met Italy’s Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, H.E. Mr. Graziano Delrio, and will visit the Italian Ship-owners Association on 12 April.
The importance of employing qualified pilots in approaches to ports and other areas where specialized local knowledge is required was formally recognized by IMO in 1968. The Organization adopted an Assembly resolution on pilotage, recommending that Governments organize pilotage services where they would be likely to prove more effective than other measures and to define the ships and classes of ships for which employment of a pilot would be mandatory.