2020 WEST COAST PILOT CONFERENCE
Hosted by the HAWAII PILOTS ASSOCIATION
Honolulu, Hawaii at the Prince Hotel in Waikiki                           

Report by Captain Ed Enos, Hawaii Pilots Association

Sunday March 8,   1730-2030 RECEPTION AT THE WAIKIKI YACHT CLUB
Monday March 9,   0830-1300 CONFERENCE & GUEST SPEAKERS
Monday March 9,   1800-2100 DINNER AT FRESCO’S, HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE
Tuesday March 10, 0830-1330 CLOSED SESSION, REGIONAL PILOT REPORTING

On Sunday evening March 8th, the HAWAII PILOTS ASSOCIATION kicked off their 2020 West Coast Pilots Conference with a lively “welcome reception."  A fun evening was enjoyed by all with about 130 guests attending and lots of great camaraderie, good food, live music, and libations.

On Monday starting at 0730, Pilots, spouses, friends, and featured guests speakers enjoyed a continental breakfast as a prelude to our first day session. At 0830 the meeting commenced with USCG Admiral Kevin Lunday as featured guest speaker discussing a variety of issues that were occurring within the District 14 ops area across the vast Pacific Ocean.

This was followed by a discussion of Hawaii Commercial Harbor issues from Mr. Derek Chow Deputy Director of the Harbors Division, State of Hawaii Department of Transportation.

We then heard a fascinating lecture on ‘Miscommunication in Maritime English’ by Dr Nicole Ziegler from the University of Hawaii. Dr. Zeigler’s step-father was an Alaska Marine Pilot in case you were wondering how any individual might be interested in this unique area of expertise.

Mr. George Burkley, Executive Director from the Maritime Pilots Institute had an excellent presentation with audio and video, that focused on Port Development in concert with Pilot Training.

We then had a few speakers address the unique and timely issue of the Coronavirus Outbreak and a host of issues regarding the Maritime Industry and Pilots in particular.

Lastly we had a Panel Discussion on Risk Mitigation for Large Ships featuring four pilots from various west coast ports. 

On Tuesday morning, we continued the conference, though it was our closed session with only Pilots, their attorneys, and/or Business Directors attending. Reports from IMPA & CMPA (Simon Pelletier), APA (Jorge Viso & Paul Kirchner), IOMM&P (Kip Carlson), and a special guest from the New Zealand Maritime Pilots Association (Colin Sellars).

These greater overview reports at the international and national level, were followed by specific port reports from three Alaska regions, British Columbia Coast Pilots, Fraser River Pilots, Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii.

As Pilot safety is always an issue, we had another panel discussion to finish off the conference. Capt. Robin Stewart from BC Coast Pilots moderated a discussion with panelists from Columbia River Bar, SE Alaska, and Napier, New Zealand. This panel was a discussion specific to Pilot Transfer Safety and featured detailed comments about the “Trap Door” style boarding arrangements. All Pilots will be interested to know much progress has been made at the highest levels of the USCG who are in discussion with Capt Viso and his staff at the APA. Discussions are ongoing and there is much sharing of information and our concerns. The USCG has a better understanding today of the issue at hand. But much more will need to be done to achieve the level of change Pilots want to see throughout the industry.

That concluded our conference. We look forward to our next meet in Canada 2021!