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Pilotage Services

To ensure the safety of ships’ passage within the Port of Darwin, the Darwin Port provides a Pilotage Service to guide ships into and out of the Darwin Harbour.

Pilotage is compulsory for all ships of 35 metres overall length or greater unless a valid Pilotage Exemption Certificate is held by the Ship’s Master.  Notice of ETA and request for a Pilot must be made to Darwin Port Corporation’s Shipping Scheduler not less than 24 hours before ETA at Channel Rock Buoy (No.6).

Confirmation of ETA is required two hours before arrival at Channel Rock Buoy (No.6). VHF Channels 16 and 10 are continually monitored by Darwin Harbour Control and ETA may be confirmed or adjusted on Channel 10, the port’s working frequency.

The usual pilot boarding point is one nautical mile north-west of Channel Rock Buoy (No.6).  In case of bad weather, the pilot may lead ahead to sheltered waters using VHF radio for communication.  

Ships greater than 200m or with a maximum draught of 10.7m or greater are required to board the pilot at the outer pilot boarding ground 1nm to the north of Number 5 buoy.

Pilot boarding arrangements MUST be according to IMO rules. Vessels awaiting a pilot may anchor in a designated anchorage northwest of Channel Rock.