Pilotage zones

Pilotage Zones are divided between rivers, sea approaches and ports as follows (for details on port pilots please ask your Ship Agent).
River Plate
This zone is delimited towards the East by an imaginary line joining Punta Rasa, Argentina, and the Recalada Lightship, thereon towards Punta del Este, Uruguay. On the West by an imaginary line joining Punta Lara, Argentina, through km 37 on the Access Channel to B. Aires and thereon to Punta Negra, Uruguay. Inbound vessels from Recalada Pilot Station Towards La Plata, Buenos Aires, or up river ports take on a River Plate Pilot up to Common Zone (which see) and then according to the port of destination, pilot changeover takes place, as follows:

    •    If bound to La Plata, the port pilot takes over.
    •    If bound to Buenos Aires, the port pilot takes over.
    •    If bound to Paraná river ports (via M. García or Mitre Channel) River Paraná pilots take over.
    •    If bound to Concepción del Uruguay a Uruguay river Pilot takes over (see also Zones covered by pilots of two nationalities).

Ships inbound from Montevideo are in charge of an Uruguayan pilot and at Zona Común an Argentine pilot takes over if proceeding towards Argentine ports as indicated above. If proceeding to Uruguayan ports on the Uruguay river via the Martín García channel an Uruguayan pilot remains in charge (see also below Zones covered by pilots of two nationalities). Uruguayan pilots when in Argentine waters are subject to its laws and regulations. Outbound vessels, except those going to Montevideo, must disembark River Plate pilot at Recalada Light vessel, but if prevented from doing so by bad weather, they can continue provided mutual agreement has been reached between Master and Pilot.

Paraná river zone
This comprises the main course of the Paraná river as from the Port of Paraná (km 601) to its delta and includes the outlets of the Paraná Guazú, Bravo, Sauce, Ibicuy and Paraná de las Palmas to the River Plate, including Talavera Passage and Mercadal cut, and that area of the River Plate delimited as follows: to the North, km 0 River Uruguay or km 138 River Plate at their junction point off Punta Negra, Uruguay; Eastwards, to an imaginary line joining this point with km 57 Banco Chico Pass, thereon to beacon km 7.7 of the access channel to the port of La Plata, but including the Lightening Zone just off Zona Común; Southwards to an imaginary line joining Beacon km 7.7 with km 37 of the access channel to Buenos Aires, continuing along its northern edge until it joins with the Coastal Channel at km 4.0 and thereon to the mouth of the River Luján. The following stretches are to be considered as continuations of the above Zone:
    •    Km 0 Uruguay river to Nueva Palmira Roads.
    •    The junction of the Mitre Channel with the Buenos Aires access channel and km 37 of same, for vessels proceeding from upriver ports via Mitre channel or vice-versa.

In addition to piloting vessels in the above waters, Paraná pilots are licensed to berth or unberth vessels at all river ports except Santa Fe, if so required.

Uruguay river
The main course of the river from Concepción del Uruguay roads, down river up to km 0.0 (138 km River Plate) and similar area of the River Plate mentioned for the Paraná river zone.
Bahía Blanca zone
The stretch of water between an imaginary line joining Punta Tejada and Punta Lobos beacons inwards towards the respective ports or berths.
Beagle Channel zone
The area comprised within the following geographical points:

    Lat S     Long W
    ‘A’    54°45’00”    68°36’38,5”
    ‘B’    54°57’00”    68°36’38,5”
    ‘C’    54°57’00”    67°13’00”
    ‘D’    55°24’00”    67°13’00”
    ‘E’    55°24’00”    66°25’00”
    ‘F’    54°45’00”    66°25’00”

Zones covered by pilots of two nationalities
This circumstance can happen in River Plate, River Uruguay and Beagle Channel waters. The applicable criteria is port of origin in first two cases, ie. a vessel proceeding from a Uruguayan port must use a Uruguayan pilot and if proceeding from an Argentine port, an Argentine pilot, both being licensed to sail in these waters. Vessels entering from sea and proceeding to Uruguayan ports on the River Uruguay are required by Uruguayan regulations to call at Montevideo to take on Uruguayan pilots.
If a vessel proceeds from an Uruguayan port on the River Uruguay bound for any foreign port via the Paraná Bravo, Paraná Guazú, Paraná de las Palmas and Mitre Channel, she must use Uruguayan pilots for the River Uruguay, Argentine pilots for River Paraná and Uruguayan or Argentine pilots, as per Owners option, for River Plate. Regarding the Beagle Channel, Argentine and Chilean ships will apply their own regulations and exemptions. Third flag vessels, if westward bound, are to follow Argentine regulations, whilst if eastbound the Chilean regulations apply. The ship is to fly the flag of the applicable country at its yardarm.
Suspension of service
This may be ordered by the Naval Prefecture when hydro-meteorological causes and/or ‘force majeure’ so justify it and no claims are admitted on behalf of users.
Details of services
Service will be carried out with the pilot permanently on the bridge.
When pilotage distance is not greater than 220 km only one pilot need be ordered, otherwise two pilots are required.
The pilot is entitled to a rest period of up to six continuous hours once having performed services for eight running hours, including interruptions not greater than three hours’ duration. In those cases where eight hours on duty have been complied with, but it can be reasonably foreseen that pilotage can be completed within the following two hours, then, if jointly agreed by Master and Pilot, the aforementioned rest period may be ignored.
Those vessels requiring to perform continuous navigation, without rest periods must order two pilots who alternatively attend on the bridge. Furthermore, in those cases in which it can be foreseen that service is to be greater than eight hours without possibility of an interruption, Coastguard may demand a second pilot be placed on board. A good example of this is the Punta Indio Channel which was extended years ago and now, allowing for the limitations in crossing and overtaking other vessels within certain stretches of the channel, the possibility of exceeding the pilot’s eight hour service limit is increased as well as the possible need of having two pilots on board if uninterrupted navigation is necessary.
Evidence of service
Once pilotage has finished, the pilot shall fill in a form which contains the ship’s main particulars, associated time events, drafts and other pertinent remarks. This form must be signed and stamped by the ship’s Master.
Ordering of a pilot: Applications for pilots are made by Owners, Managers or Agents as agreed between them and the Pilotage Service Company, it being advisable to book these services as early as possible. The party requesting services can opt for any particular pilot or pilotage company.
Ladders for embarking/dropping pilots
Regulations and recommendations in connection with this sub-title are to follow guidelines set out by:
   a) Local Maritime Ordinance 4/89 dated November 7th 1989, annexes 1 and 2. which fully incorporates recommendations set out in Chapter V Rule 17 SOLAS 74, and IMO amendments as per Resolution A.889 adopted on November 25, 1999.
   b) International Maritime Pilots Association recommendations. Masters are encouraged to exert diligence in this respect and not rely only on pilot ladders, but to be ready to have main accommodation ladder combined with pilot ladder ready should freeboard circumstances so dictate.
Attention should also be paid towards adequate illumination during dark hours and the advisability of safety/life-saving appliances. Care must be also exercised on those ships carrying deck cargoes or when the main accommodation ladder faces aft and vessel is of light draft.