THE booming Port of Tyne is officially one of the safest maritime operations in the world.
The port is one of only three pilotage authorities in the UK and 12 in the world to achieve the International Standard for Maritime Pilot Organisations (Ispo).
The 10 pilots working for Port of Tyne are responsible for managing the pilotage of about 5,000 vessel movements each year.
For 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the pilots are responsible for the safe navigation of vessels. They have also been critical to successes in the port’s business performance.
The pilots have successfully coped with a 40 per cent increase in the number of large cargo vessels now using the Tyne.
The Ispo standard supports the port’s compliance with the Port Marine Safety Code, and is the internationally-recognised standard assuring highest levels of professional service covering all aspects of skills, knowledge and expertise.
Mike Nicholson, Port of Tyne’s harbour master, said: “The port’s pilots demonstrate the highest levels of ship-handling skills, providing critical knowledge of navigation within the Port of Tyne, and the Ispo standard signifies the ultimate standards concerning safety and quality, essential to the shipping industry.
“Prior to the development of Ispo, there was no mechanism for pilots in any particular district or port to show that they were operating to an internationally-agreed standard, transparent to all customers – ship masters, ship owners or operators.
“Now the Port of Tyne is one of the world leaders in this field.”