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AWO Near Miss 23-07 Master Corrects Pilot

After exiting the breakwaters during a routine pilot transit, Lake Charles Unit #14 notified the Captain that he would be getting off the vessel at Buoy #22.  However, once the pilot ladder was rigged and ready, Unit #14 told the pilot boat that he would be exiting the channel and proceeding to the north - to disembark the vessel.  At this time, the Captain immediately stopped the operation using Stop Work Authority and told the pilot that the depth of water to the North was not sufficient for navigation.  The Captain notified the pilot that the ships draft was 36.75’ (not including squat) and the area the pilot wanted to disembark was 35’ to 38’ (a clear grounding danger).  Despite having discussed the ships draft, squat, and disembarkation area at length prior to getting underway, the Captain explained again that exiting the channel to the North with the given draft and squat would put the vessel aground.  Furthermore, there was oncoming barge traffic to the north that would create a hazardous situation.
The Captain advised the pilot that if he needed to exit the channel to the North to disembark, then he would have to wait until Buoy #8, at which time the Captain took the conn and disembarked the pilot in a stretch of deep water.
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September 26, 2023