Encounters At Sea
Certificate of Merit
SURPRISING FACTS OBSERVED IN VENEZULAN PORT, PORT PUERTO ORDAZ
Vessel is a Panamax bulk carrier. Vessel loaded from Europe for Venezulan port, port Puerto Ordaz, about 200 nautical miles upstream the river Orinoco. The pilot boards the vessel 35 nautical miles inside the channel. The channel is marked with buoys, some of them are lighted, some of them are unlit, some of them are missing. During the passage into the river for picking up pilot, twice the vessel listed to 10°. This listing is a common feature in this river passage as the mud spots move depending on the current. The ship was berthed and even after tightening all the ropes, the vessel always had a gap of 1 to 1.5 meters, from the jetty. After loading , on the way back, after dropping the pilot, the vessel ran aground. Tugs assistance was called, but no assistance came. Continuous trying on astern, and after about 3 hrs, the vessel shifted aft and the ship refloated.
This is very common feature and it has been advised to go at full speed inside the channel.Pilot boats travel at 35 knots. Pilot boards the vessel by helicopter and leaves the vessel by the chopper.The current at the jetty is around 8 knots. Hence the moorings have to be tended on a continuous basis.