Congratulations to Capt. Matt Lynch who recently completed the Canaveral Pilots Association Deputy Pilot Training Program. The program lasts from 2 1/2 to 3 years and is a comprehensive and arduous process that trains highly qualified Merchant Mariners to become an expert in local knowledge, navigation, and ship-handling for Port Canaveral. Candidates for a Deputy Pilot opening must first meet the Merchant Marine officer experience requirements set forth by the State of Florida Board of Pilot Commissioners and then score one of the highest scores on a comprehensive Deputy Pilot exam administered by the Board. This exam includes a local navigation section where the candidates are required to draw the navigational chart from memory. The Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional regulation makes the appointment and the successful candidate reports to the Pilot Association to begin the training program. The Deputy Pilot must complete the first year in a probationary status and accompanies the State Harbor Pilots aboard vessels transiting the harbor for training. Trainees have little time off and after satisfactorily completing the first year are elevated to a non-probationary status to continue training. As the Deputy Pilot continues progressing through the training levels, he or she begins to handle vessels on their own beginning with the smallest, while still continuing to ride with Senior Pilots on vessels for which they are not yet qualified. To complete the program a Deputy Pilot must successfully complete all training levels and pass a State Pilot exam administered by the Board of Pilot Commissioners. Capt. Lynch has completed the program diligently and with merit. The Canaveral Pilots Association is proud to have him aboard as our newest fully qualified State Harbor Pilot.