Role of the Pilot
With approximately ninety per cent of the State's population living within ten miles of our coastlines, the safe conduct of a ship's navigation and passage into or out of port and protection of the environment while in State pilotage waters are key mission requirements of the State pilot system. A major marine casualty in our region could be catastrophic. To insure the safety of navigation and protection of the environment, the state licenses marine pilots to protect the waters of New York State.
Since the 1800's the states of New York and New Jersey have developed a pilotage system to navigate ships with pilots who undergo many years of training and have intimate knowledge of local waters and port conditions. In this era of heightened national security with elevated threat levels currently in effect by the Department of Homeland Security and United States Coast Guard, the role of the State pilot has become of even more critical importance.
The State pilot must deal with all types of vessels in all kinds of weather conditions ranging from calm, perfect sea conditions to days with high winds, poor visibility, tidal forces, and stormy seas often when under keel clearance between the bottom of the ship and the channel is less than three feet.
A major marine casualty in our region could be catastrophic. To ensure the safety of navigation and protection of the environment, the state licenses expert marine pilots to protect the waters and the environment of New York State.