Watch harbour pilots disembark from Queen Mary 2
New Zealand pilots leave Queen Mary 2 in a unique way
Ships are full of very experienced navigators. However, not every officer (or the Captain) aboard a ship may have visited a port before. This is where harbour pilots come in. Their local knowledge of tides, depths, movements and other things that make up the uniqueness of a port or harbour, vastly exceeds the crew aboard almost all ships.
Their main job is to safely guide the ship in or out of the port. Some ports even make it mandatory to have a pilot otherwise you can’t sail in or out for safety reasons. During the pilotage, the pilot gives commands to the Captain, who in turn, gives commands to his Officers and deck crew to help guide the ship safely in or out of the port.
This unique video shows two New Zealand harbour pilots, from Queen Charlotte Sound (the very top of the South Island) disembark Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 – you’ll see how they climb down the rope ladder from one of the ship’s side doors and then make the perilous step onto the pilot boat. They are then hooked onto a rail from their life-jackets to make sure if they accidentally slip, they stay aboard the boat and not fall in-between the pilot boat and ship!
You can read more about Queen Mary 2 or view port destinations in New Zealand.