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Web Alert: Grounding of Richards Bay (S.A.) pilot transfer helicopters

27 March 2018

Members are advised regarding changes to the use of helicopters for Marine Pilot transfers at Richards Bay S.A. Both helicopters are currently grounded due to the discovery of cracks which were found after an investigation prompted by a safety bulletin from the helicopters manufacturer. Replacement parts are on order and the helicopters are expected to be back in service by 13 April 2018.

Until the helicopters are back in service, pilot boats are the primary Marine Pilot transfer craft for Richards Bay. A work boat will also be available as a backup craft. The use of pilot boats as the primary Marine Pilot transfer craft is expected to cause some berthing delays at Richards Bay due to the limitations of pilot boats when compared to helicopters such as speed and weather limitations.