Death of Reef Pilot

Death of Chris Hart

Media reports today (Wednesday 1 September 2010) say that a Marine Pilot from Australian Reef Pilots was killed when a chartered small place slid off a wet runway in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea.

Chris Hart from Sydney was on his way to join a south bound ship when he was killed in the crash.

Chris was an AMOU member for over 30 years and a reef pilot for over 10 years.

Chris sailed in Howard Smith's ship prior to joining the reef pilot service.

One of Chris's shipmates on the 'Howard Smith' was Ian Sneddon - now a Newcastle Pilot.

Ian said today that he corssed paths in the 1980's when Chris was Second Mate and Mate.

Ian says that:  "Chris was a fine shipmate, who had an exceptional skill as navigator having rained through the RN. Being an Englishman, he struggled with the 'Australian' style of the way things run, and over the years after proudly declaring his Australian Citizenship, became mostly 'adapted' to his new surroundings. I'm not sure of his position of support during the Ashes series, wavering from traditional English when the team was winning, of for the Aussies when we were on top. Such is life for many, in this situation.

I remember him as a proud family man, passionate for all he believed in. I am saddened with his untimely loss."

The AMOU expresses best wishes to Chris's family.

Michael Fleming