1032 - 03/15 - Pilotage Services, Orinoco River - Venezuela
The Association has been advised of some changes affecting the pilotage services in Orinoco River.
The pilotage in Orinoco River is regulated by Presidential Decree No 2033 from 8th January 1992. It stipulates that all foreign vessels are obliged to take pilot at mile 27.7 of the Orinoco River. As a result of several groundings however, the Orinoco River Pilot Association and the Local Harbour Master have decided to extend their services to Orinoco sea buoy (mile 0.1) for all vessels over 150m LOA, at Masters/Owners’ request. For vessel’s over 200m the pilotage services have been mandatory. This has been the customary practise for a number of years.
Recently as a result of differences between the Venezuelan Aquatic Authority (INEA) and the Pilot’s Association, the Official Board of Pilots has decided to suspend their extended service, restricting their assistance to what is actually established in the decree. This leaves the ships without a pilot onboard, throughout the passage between mile 0.1 and mile 27.7.
Members transiting the River are advised to keep in close contact with their agents and the club’s correspondents and be guided by the official information about the river’s depths and the maximum drafts allowed.
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