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Who is Harbor Master: Everything you need to know

Harbor Master

With the development of international trading. Most of the ports have traffic congestion on the berths and congestion in the loading and unloading process. Due to many reasons, the port may be a hazard to work employees and also accidence level increasing. for ensuring port and vessel safety every port has appointed an employee called harbor master who is responsible and mitigating accidence at the port area. And also he is responsible to protect the marine environment. In this blog, we will identify who is the harbor master and what are the roles and required skills and knowledge to be a harbor master, and more details about harbor master and harbor master divisions in a port.

Who is a Harbor master?

Harbor master is a career in the maritime industry that need experience and great skills. As the name of it, he must work in a harbor or port. It may be a commercial port. The Harbor master has all the responsibility regarding all the procedures and handlings inside the port.

other names for the harbor master

Harbour Master

port warden

Port Master

What is the Role of a harbor Master?

  • The Harbor master is the main part of the ship’s operational team in the port
  • When considering a port water side controlled by a harbor master.
  • Within the harbor master‘s jurisdiction, the country’s national law, and regulations are controlled by the harbor master.
  • Movements of the ship and operational responsibility have a harbor master.
  • There is a power harbor master for the removal of vessels or ships from any berths at the port.

harbor master’s primary role is ensuring the safety of the vessel and people and also the port infrastructure. So harbor master is helping to vessel navigation process in and out of the port by giving pilotage directions and instructions.

when the ship arrives ship’s basic information needs to provide harbor master. such as the draft of the ship, overall length, displacement, etc. Then harbor master decides on a suitable berth if the harbor master feels some safety issues in the vessel he has the authority to apply restrictions also. When a vessel arrives the port generally contacts the port control unit or VTS (Vessel Traffic Station) for giving instructions to plan vessel berthing and regarding pilotage activities also time need to stay at port.

The Harbor master is responsible to inform vessels regarding any issues or hazards that will affect to ship’s navigation. Such as any failure of navigational aids, tug limitations, weather conditions that may disturbance to berth, etc.

different types of vessels need different types of requirements of port facilities for safety and security. So harbor master should aware of them. According to the requirements of the vessel type, the harbor master appoints suitable berth and port facilities.

harbor master’s role is vary with the type of handling cargo and main functions of the terminal or port operations.

Harbor master is responsible for more planning activities such as providing the most suitable berth for a vessel and ensuring the safety of the vessel, providing and planning pilotage and tug boat services, confirming mooring services by sending a mooring team, etc,

What are the main tasks of the harbor master’s division is done?

Ensuring port and vessels safety and protection of the marine environment

managing traffic flow of the port and coastal water

harbor master coordinates all marine services at the port

emergency (fire, accident) planning and training

what are the marine services at the port

navigation services at the port – pilotage, tug board operation services, mooring services

Responsibilities of the harbor master

providing navigational aids within the port area

pilotage services

emergency services

inspections of the vessels

Legal powers of a harbor Master

harbor master has legal powers also. below you can see the legal powers of the harbor master.

  1. detain goods or vessel
  2. caution
  3. arresting people who have committed an offense at the port area
  4. investigation regarding criminal acts, immigration, customs, maritime or river environment pollution issues.

Required knowledge and skills of habour master?

  1. knowledge of marine navigational law
  2. experience and knowledge of marine operations procedure
  3. knowledge of rules and regulations of docks and ports need to be aware of both local laws and international laws
  4. knowledge of marine navigational tools and equipment
  5. knowledge and methods of boat and vessels safety
  6. should have experience as a seafarer
  7. in emergency cases ability take immediate actions
  8. ability to take on new challenges
  9. need to work as a team
  10. be aware of health and safety laws at the international and national level
  11. need to have a thorough knowledge of types of the vessels and their requirements entering to berth and within the port
  12. ability to plan resources in an emergency case in a timely manner

what are the Methods of selecting a harbor master?

An employee of the port(through a promotion)
External appointment

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