We are saddened to report a pilot lost his life whilst carrying out pilot transfer at Bosphorus Straits early Sunday 4 February 2024. Details are still to be confirmed but we understand the pilot, Captain Oğuz Kök, a highly respected maritime pilot, entered the water during pilot transfer operations to embark the geared handysize bulk carrier, NEW SHIAM, at the southern end of the Bosphorus and was recovered unconscious some 30 minutes later was pronounced dead upon arrival at Haydarpasa Numune Hospital.
An investigation has been launched and the vessel remains in the area.
On February 21, 2002, Oğuz Kök managed to stop the tanker “Genmar Star”, which was carrying jet fuel and whose rudder was broken, in front of Dolmabahçe Palace and prevented a major disaster. In a ceremony held during the İMEAK Chamber of Shipping (DTO) Assembly Meeting, a plaque and an award were given to Oğuz Kök, who worked as a pilot at TDİ Istanbul Port Authority. Kök said, “I receive this plaque on behalf of all pilots.”
A sad start to 2024 and a sobering reminder to all who use pilot ladders of the high risk nature of such operations. Our thoughts are with his family and colleagues.