Pilotage The Original Pilots – true false not given exercise

Pilotage The Original Pilots

Although most people nowadays think of aviation when they hear the word “pilot”, the term was originally used to refer to local seamen whose task was to guide ships through coastal waters and into a port. In fact, the English word “pilot” evolved from the Dutch term for a plumb lead, a length of rope with a weight on the end of it used for measuring the depth of water. Today, nearly every port employs pilots licensed by the government of the country, and the use of their services is compulsory, except for local ships whose master holds a current pilotage exemption for a specific port. Pilots are responsible for the safe conduct and navigation of any ship from the time they assume control from the master after boarding at sea until the vessel is safely moored at the allocated wharf, or vice versa in the case of ships that are leaving a harbour.

The history of sea pilotage goes back many hundreds of years to a time when seamen with local knowledge offered their services to ships’ captains to help them navigate their vessels through the waters at the entrance to ports. As maritime trade widened into new territories, help was required in approaching little-known areas of coastline. Early European settlers in the New World were often provided navigational assistance by the native people who had been residing in the area for many thousands of years. Using their canoes, the natives would lead ships into unknown rivers or natural harbours and warn mariners of any underwater dangers. Once settlements began to become more established, ships arrived more regularly in the area. By then many of the early pilots were settlers who had become fishermen. These fishermen would often command good fees for piloting ships because of their specialised knowledge of water depths, navigational hazards, tides and currents in their local areas.

Although modern electronic equipment and navigational aids have changed the way ships are operated at sea, the employment of a marine pilot with extensive local knowledge and expert ship-handling skills is as essential as ever. In addition, changes in the shipping business have increased the need for pilots. Ships have become larger and more complex, while the number of crew members on the ships has decreased. There are now fewer skilled people on board these large ships who can both handle them and have knowledge of different harbours. In today’s competitive world, there are also increasing demands for ships to operate in more severe weather conditions than in the past. Accordingly, local knowledge of how a particular type of weather affects the approach and entry to a port is essential in getting ships docked quickly. A reliable and responsible marine pilotage system in every port plays a significant role in allowing businesses to remain competitive in the global marketplace.

Shipping is a very high cost industry, with running costs for fuel, maintenance and crews easily averaging US $2,000 per ship per hour for every hour of every day. Consequently, shipping is a 24-hour-a-day industry and pilots need to be available at any time to play their part. In fact, the importance of pilot reliability has led to pilots in Australia being self-employed, which means none is a union member and they are therefore never involved in industrial disputes that could cause delays to shipping.

Over the years, pilots have had to develop different levels of expertise in order to deal with how ships have changed, the most spectacular of which is probably the increase in size. A hundred years ago, 2,000 tonnes was considered a large ship. Forty years ago, 10,000 tonnes was considered a large ship. Today, 100,000 tonnes is an everyday occurrence. The types of ships have also changed. Most ships today are built for specific cargoes, such as containers, tankers, roll-on-roll-offs, car carriers, bulk carriers and general purpose ships. As a result of this, their appearance and handling differ considerably. For example, a large loaded tanker would not be much affected by wind, but the pilot would have to commence reducing speed about 10 miles before reaching the berth. The other extreme would be a car carrier, which does not go deep into the water. This could be stopped quickly, but would be very much affected by winds. Different harbour conditions are also important. Big, deep-draught ships in narrow channels require the pilot’s full attention; a lapse of concentration could result in a major accident with a considerable impact on the environment from, for example, a subsequent oil spillage.

Today, coastal marine pilots have a wide range of responsibilities. They must provide advice on the safe navigation of a vessel and act as stewards of the sea. They must provide detailed passage planning, local knowledge, leadership to the bridge team, and liaison with shore authorities and vessel traffic services. Pilots also need to provide independent judgement and advice to the ship’s master, who ultimately remains in command of the vessel. Moreover, a pilot has to monitor his or her own personal health and safety, and he or she must also be a mentor to new coastal pilots. The scope and obligations of the job facing a pilot today are extremely challenging, but the variety and rewards of this work mean that there is intense competition among people wanting to enter the field.

True false not given practice

Pilotage the original pilots ielts reading questions

TRUE if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the reading passage

14 The origin of the term pilot described one of the tools of the job.
15 The use of a government-licensed pilot is mandatory in all cases.
16 The indigenous people of the Americas were not paid for their services as pilots.
17 Some ports employ pilots who specialise in bringing ships into harbour in bad weather.
18 A ship might be unable to enter an Australian port due to a strike by pilots.
19 Being a pilot is a highly paid job.

20 When on board, the pilot is the most senior member of a ship’s crew.
21 Familiarity with a specific stretch of coastal waters has always been a key requirement for a pilot.

Pilotage the original pilots ielts reading answers

14. T  the English word “pilot” evolved from the Dutch term for a plumb lead, a length of rope with a weight on the end of it used for measuring the depth of water

15. F nearly every port employs pilots licensed by the government of the country, and the use of their services is compulsory, except for local ships whose master holds a current pilotage exemption for a specific port

16. NG – Early European settlers in the New World were often provided navigational assistance by the native people who had been residing in the area for many thousands of years

17. T (third paragraph) there are also increasing demands for ships to operate in more severe weather conditions than in the past. Accordingly, local knowledge of how a particular type of weather affects the approach and entry to a port is essential in getting ships docked quickly

18. F (fourth paragraph)

19. NG

20. F (sixth paragraph) Pilots also need to provide independent judgement and advice to the ship’s master, who ultimately remains in command of the vessel.

21. T (sixth paragraph) They must provide detailed passage planning, local knowledge, leadership to the bridge team, and liaison with shore authorities and vessel traffic services

Complete ielts bands 4-5

 

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