New local marine pilots join shipping industry

Vanuatu has added two new certified pilots to its local contingent of skilled marine pilots.

The Acting Director of the Department of Ports and Marine, Robson Tari, says the two new pilots are Captain Weio Mandeison from Aniwa Island in Vanuatu’s south and Tella Resly from the Banks Islands in Torba Province in the far north.

Mr Tari says the two pilots have received their marine pilot certificates and will join five other marine pilots already working in Vanuatu.

The marine pilots are responsible to guide ships safely into and out of ports and they control all movements inside Port Vila Harbour.

Mr Tari says the Ports and Marine Department greatly values the work the two new harbour pilots have done over their ten years of work and training with the department.

“They have done an outstanding job and have been thoroughly tested in their ability to handle heavy sea traffic,” he said.

“I have trust in the ability of these two new pilots to do the job.

“They will be responsible for driving ships safely to the wharfs to deliver cargo, such as items to be sold in our shops, particularly housing construction materials.”

Mr Tari says the work of a marine pilot in Vanuatu requires good skills as it “can be tricky during bad weather to drive all vessels into the harbour and anchor them at the main wharf”.

He says to ensure there are no accidents or loss of lives in the harbour, the pilots must have good knowledge of the routes that vessels need to pass through to reach the wharf safely.

One of the new pilots Captain Resly from Banks, says despite the challenges both he and Captain Mandeison faced in learning the skills required to work in Vanuatu’s critical shipping industry, both men are proud of their achievements and consider themselves lucky.

“We trained everyday with our harbour master and are happy that the training was able to be undertaken in our own country. We did not need to go overseas to get the training,” Captain Resly said.

“It was good quality training – it was interesting and it kept all officers fit and healthy as we were required to board ships and direct them into the Port Vila Harbour.”

Mr Tari says the certification of the two new local marine pilots was an important achievement and is part of the Department of Ports and Marine’s 2020 Business Plan.

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