Any ship subject to compulsory pilotage, that enters or leaves the Grand Harbour or the Marsaxlokk Port is boarded by a maritime pilot who will take charge of navigation manoeuvres until in or out of port.
Pilot changes are always a tricky operation, sometimes even dangerous when poor weather conditions come into play. The pilot must get on board using a ladder and climb the hull of the ship. The ascent can sometimes reach up to 10 metres .
Once on board, the pilot makes contact with the captain and the ship’s officers and verifies the ship’s capacity, its specifics, its quality of navigation equipment and other things.