Thank you, Mr. Chair.
In the interest of time, I'm going to jump ahead slightly.
I think the question comes down to why have pilots at all. In short, it's a country's insurance against a marine disaster. By placing a pilot on the vessel, you're ensuring that at least one member of the bridge team has an in-depth knowledge of the local dangers, is not fatigued, and is a knowledgeable resource in the event that something does occur. Last, the pilot adds an additional level of safety on the vessel.
There are usually three levels of safety on every vessel. The first level of safety is the ship itself. A well-maintained, well-run ship will provide this first level. By tankers coming in as vetted, that is a certain level. The second level of safety is the bridge team, the master and the officers. A well-trained and engaged crew will provide that second level of safety. The third level of safety is the pilot himself. The bridge crew is more wary if there's a stranger in their midst, and the pilot not knowing the bridge team is just as wary. This is a positive situation, as everybody will remain on their toes.
For most vessels, that's where it stops, but where tankers are concerned, there's a fourth level of safety when an escort tug is utilized, as the escort has the ability to assist the vessel should there be a failure.
In closing, I've been with the pilotage authority for 13 years, and during this time there has only been one oil pollution incident with a pilot on board. This was a freighter that happened to be pushed back onto the dock during a squall and a piece of metal punched the ship's side. There has never been an incident involving a tanker, and we've never had an oil spill from a tanker on this coast.