The rapid uptake of remote pilotage during the coronavirus pandemic could be compromising safety, according to protection and indemnity insurer Standard Club.

Port authorities have been adopting remote pilotage — which guides ships based on communication between the bridge, a shoreside pilot and vessel traffic services (VTS) staff — to protect pilots from infection by eliminating contact with crew.

The practice was used to bring the 133,000-gt cruiseship Costa Diadema (built 2014) — which had 65 cases of Covid-19 infection on board — through the Suez Canal in April.