Shipping Association welcomes the arrival of Pilot Launch


The Maritime Administration Department’s (MARAD) acquisition of the new pilot launch, the ‘ML Kakabelly’, as well as its announcement about the training of new Pilots is a welcome development that is expected to enhance its capacity to deliver improved services to vessels calling at Port Georgetown.  The Shipping Association of Guyana (SAG) welcomes this development and looks forward to the benefits this move is expected to offer to its members.

For some time maritime industry operators have had to endure issues related to pilotage services, that have cost them time and money owing to the unavailability of pilots and an efficient Pilot Launch to service international vessels.

It is anticipated that the acquisition of this vessel, which is reported to be equipped with high tech computerized operational equipment, will quicken industry plans for continued training and human resource development that is required for the Department to efficiently and effectively carry out its mandate.According to MARAD, the ML Kakabelly is fast and outfitted to work at night.  One implication is that it could play a role in the overall Port Development effort by adding to the facilities for Port Security.

Reports indicate that the fibre glass vessel operates with computerized fuel efficient components with a maximum speed of 23 knots. It was put into service in December 2012 just following its arrival from the United Kingdom, and operates from MARAD’s moorings aback the Stabroek Market.  SAG also anticipates that it will truly complement the work of the older pilot launches, the ‘ML Thompson’ and the ‘ML Alan Younge’.

SAG looks forward to continued improvements and developments in the Demerara Harbour that includes capital dredging of the channel to an adequate depth of 6.5 meters.  The current shallow draught of approximately 4.5 meters continues to inhibit the passage of large laden freight vessels through the navigational channel into Port Georgetown, which could eventually cause the ultimate cessation of international marine traffic if not urgently addressed.