Coronavirus Precautions

Coronavirus Precautions for Pilots

March 5, 2020

To ensure that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) does not constitute a threat to the Columbia River maritime community, the Columbia River Pilots respectfully request vessel operators take the following precautions during their transit to the Columbia River, prior to the pilot boarding, and while the pilot is aboard:

  • In the hour prior to the pilot boarding, wipe down the entire bridge with a 5% solution of bleach water, including the chart table, instruments, radars, radios, electronics, chairs, helm, entire console, handrails, windows, door handles, etc.
  • Maintain cool and dry conditions on the bridge, as hot and humid conditions may enable a virus to persist longer on surfaces.
  • Any crew member entering the bridge should immediately and thoroughly wash their hands and face for at least 20 seconds prior to entering the bridge.
  • Maintain a supply of alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 65% alcohol on the bridge. Any member of the bridge team should use hand sanitizer on their hands immediately after touching their face.
  • Do not smoke on the bridge. Any crew member who previously smoked should thoroughly wash their hands and face for at least 20 seconds prior to entering the bridge.
  • If the helmsman or ship’s officers see the pilot fail to comply with the above conditions, then they should speak up and remind the pilot to do so.
  • Please only allow essential personnel in the wheelhouse while a pilot is onboard.
  • Do not eat on the bridge.
  • All coffee cups and utensils on bridge should be washed thoroughly.
  • Pilots should use their own coffee cups, not the ship’s.
  • Pilots may discuss of the above conditions as part of the Master/Pilot Exchange.

We appreciate you taking these precautions to safeguard the Columbia River maritime community. If you have any questions about this policy, please call our Dispatcher at (503) 289-9922.

Jeremy Nielsen
President, Columbia River Pilots


Additional Information:

Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Communities (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC))
Guidance for Ship Operators for the Protection of the Health of Seafarers (International Chamber of Shipping)
US Coast Guard – Marine Safety Information Bulletin (March 9, 2020)
US Coast Guard – Marine Safety Information Bulletin (February 2, 2020)