Division of Professional Regulation

1000 Board of Pilot Commissioners

Statutory Authority: 23 Delaware Code, Section 102 (23 Del.C. §102)

24 DE Admin. Code 1000



Under Title 23 of the Delaware Code, Section 102, as well as 29 Delaware Code Chapter 101, the Delaware Board of Pilot Commissioners is empowered to adopt regulations concerning the practice of pilotage on the Bay and River Delaware and the tributaries thereof. The Commission has now drafted revisions to its existing Pilot regulations. A copy of the proposed changes accompanies this notice.

Two of these changes do not require comment, and are hereby adopted.

The first, a revision of Section 4.0, is changed to reflect changes in 23 Del.C. Section 115 regarding the license renewal date.

The second revision, at Section 5.6.1, is changes to reflect a previously approved training facility’s name and address change.

The third change requires the provision of an opportunity for public comment, regarding a proposed notice requirement for medical waivers sought from the United States Coast Guard.

The Commission will take written comments on the draft changes to the Board of Pilot Commissioners Regulations from October 1, 2009 through December 11, 2009. In addition, the Commission will hold a public hearing for the receipt of comments on these changes at its next regularly scheduled meeting, December 11, 2009, at the Cannon Building, Conference Room A, 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Dover, DE 19901, at 1:00 p.m.

Questions or comments regarding these proposed changes should be directed to: Judy Letterman, Administrator, Cannon Building, Conference Room A, 861 Silver Lake Boulevard, Dover, DE 19901 (302) 677-7312 (telephone) (302) 739-2711 (fax);

1000 Board of Pilot Commissioners

1.0 Delaware licensed Bay and River Pilots are required to be familiar with the 23 Del.C. Ch. 1. Pilots §100 through 138.

2.0 Original License

2.1 An examination shall be given to apprentices upon completion of their apprenticeship to determine their qualifications for licenses. The written examination shall be based on knowledge required to be learned by the apprentice during his/her apprenticeship.

2.2 No license shall be issued to any Pilot for any route for which he/she has not made required trips and passed required examination.

2.3 No original license will be issued for anything less than the route from entrance of Delaware Bay to Newbold Channel, and Chesapeake & Delaware Canal. All these licenses must be maintained through your pilot career.

2.4 The Board of Pilot Commissioners shall issue endorsements for any tributaries of the Bay and River Delaware to any Delaware licensed Pilot who has passed examination for same.

3.0 To Raise License

Fourth Class Pilots shall demonstrate their knowledge to the Commission of their thorough understanding of vessel "squat" and other deep vessel handling characteristics prior to being licensed as a Third Class Pilot.

4.0 Renewal of License

Pilot Licenses are to be issued on anniversary of their original date from October 24, 1967, to comply with Delaware law.

5.0 All Delaware Licensed Pilots must:

5.1 Maintain all licenses they have in hand as of 5 May 1986 throughout the remainder of their Pilot career.

5.2 Hold a valid radar certificate. ARPA certification is also required.

5.3 Provide a copy of all licenses and certificates to the Commission Secretary.

5.4 Notify the Commission Secretary on the form provided each Pilot that the "Rules of the Nautical Road" have been read.

5.5 Any pilot who fails to exercise his or her profession for any consecutive 90-day period is forbidden from piloting vessels. Such pilot may resume piloting vessels only upon certification to the Board that he or she has made such refresher trips over the route as shall be deemed necessary by the Board to assure that he or she is fully familiar with conditions along the route. Refresher trips shall be made in the company of a first class pilot.

5.6 Attend at least (40) hours of approved education every five (5) years. The course or courses of study shall total not less than 40 hours of formal training on subjects relating to navigation and piloting. All such courses may be taken at an approved education facility. The Board of Pilot Commissioners shall approve all courses before enrollment.

5.6.1 The courses listed here are now approved by the Board and will continue to be approved until further notice:

Ship Handling, Port Revel

Centre De Port Revel

38136 St. Pierre de Bressieux


Maritime Institute of Technology

5700 Hammonds Ferry Road

Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

SCI Maritime Training

241 Water Street

New York, NY 1003 8

South Hampton Institute

Newtown Road, Warsash Hampshire


Star Center Simulation Training Assessment & Research (STAR) Center

2 West Dixie Highway

Dania Beach, FL 33004

Tidewater Navigation

Norfolk, VA

5.7 Attend and complete at least once every five (5) years a Bridge Resource Management ("BRM") course recommended and approved by this Board or by the American Pilots Association. Classroom or simulator hours spent in attendance at a BRM course will count towards satisfaction of the requirement of subparagraph "E", above. All licensed pilots shall have passed and approved BRM course prior to I July 1997.

6 DE Reg. 635 (11/01/02)

6.0 Pilots must pass a designated physical examination every year within 120 days before their date of license renewal. rResults of the examination shall be reported on the form provided each Pilot approved by the Board. Examinations may also be ordered by the Board for any Pilot at any time for any cause. In addition, each Pilot shall report to the Commission concerning the Pilot’s request for a waiver from the United States Coast Guard for any medical condition, as permitted by Federal regulation, as well as the results of any such waiver request. The initial report to the Commission shall be made at the same time that the waiver request is made to the Coast Guard, and the report of the Coast Guard’s decision on the waiver request shall be provided to the Commission within three business days of the Pilot’s receipt of the waiver decision.

7.0 In order to be granted a license renewal, any Pilot licensed by this Commission is and shall be required:

7.1 To have rendered pilotage service to not less than 52 vessels in the course of the year preceding the year for which the renewal of such license is sought; and

7.2 To furnish to this Commission, in writing, not later than the time when application is made to this Commission for the renewal of such license, a list of all pilotages, during the period of the license whose renewal is sought, giving:

7.2.1 The name of the vessel.

7.2.2 The date of pilotage.

7.3 Provided however, that this requirement shall be proportionally reduced in number, or eliminated, upon presentation of proof in form and substance satisfactory to the Commission, that during the year about to be concluded, the applicant for renewal was engaged in administrative duties connected with pilotage on the Bay and River Delaware, or was duly assigned and engaged in administrative assignments for the benefit of said pilotage, or was temporarily disabled from the performance of this duties as a Pilot or other reason deemed satisfactory to the Commission.

7.4 In the event that the requirement for 52 pilotages is reduced or eliminated to the satisfaction of the Commission, a number of refresher trips may be required before renewal is granted.

8.0 Docking, Undocking, and Anchoring of Vessels

8.1 When a vessel is docking or anchoring, a Delaware licensed pilot shall remain on the bridge, attentive to duty, until the vessel has at least one ship's line secure to the dock, or until the vessel is anchored properly and firmly within a designated anchorage area.

8.2 Nonetheless, nothing in these Rules shall prevent the Master of a vessel from employing the services of a docking master.

9.0 Casualty Reports

9.1 It shall be the personal responsibility of all Pilots licensed by this Commission to make reports of all casualties, collisions, groundings, etc. These reports shall be made to the Division of Professional Regulation's Chief Investigator, with a copy sent to the Commission's liaison to the Investigator. All such reports must be made within five days of the occurrence, except that any marine casualty involving oil spillage, pollution, or death must also be reported by telephone, facsimile transmission, or telegram to the Investigator and Commission liaison within twenty-four hours of the occurrence, to be followed thereafter by the written report. Failure to make such reports within the required time frame may result in disciplinary proceedings.

9.2 Pilots licensed by this Commission are also required to furnish the Investigator and Commission liaison with a copy of all written reports the pilot makes to the U.S. Coast Guard relating to any occurrence through the pilot's licensed route of all casualties, collisions, or groundings. These pilots must provide the Investigator and the Commission liaison with copies of any Coast Guard findings based on these reports.

10.0 Commission Recommendations

It is suggested that, in the event any of the Pilots licensed by this Commission consider it unwise for a ship which he has boarded to get under way or leave a dock either due to weather or tide conditions, and the master of the ship insists on getting under way, the Pilot should refuse to assume his duties until such a time as it is in his opinion safe to proceed.

11.0 Offshore Trip Experience Requirement for Second Class Pilots

11.1 Under the provisions of 23 Del.C. §113(b), no person shall be eligible for licensure as a first class pilot by this Board, until that person has served at least one year in each of the lower classes.

11.2 While holding a second or third class license, all pilots must make at least two inward bound trips on vessels rated over 100,000 summer deadweight tons, on the southeastern approach lane from “D” buoy to at least the Delaware Capes. Each such trip must be made while accompanied by a pilot holding a first class license for the Bay and River Delaware issued by either this Board or the Pennsylvania Navigation Commission. At least one of these trips must be made during darkness. Second class pilots must furnish proof of these trips to the Board at least thirty days prior to being granted their first class pilot license.

6 DE Reg. 635 (11/01/02)

12.0 Service Requirement for Advancement from License Class to a Higher License Class

12.1 Under 23 Del.C. §113(b), a licensed pilot must serve at least one year in each of the previous lower pilot license classifications before the pilot is entitled to a first class license, permitting the pilot to provide pilotage services for “ships or vessels of any practical draft of water.” 23 Del.C. §112(1). Using the plain meaning rule of legislative interpretation, the term “serve” as used in Section 113(b) means to actively engage in the pilot profession during a full one-year term, and not merely to hold a current license for twelve months.

12.2 For example, if a pilot is unavailable for pilotage assignments during a one-year term, the total time for which the pilot was unavailable shall not be counted toward the one-year requirement. This circumstance will then affect the pilot’s license renewal date, at the completion of the total one-year term.

6 DE Reg. 635 (11/01/02)

13 DE Reg. 464 (10/01/09) (Prop.)