Deputy Pilot Training

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Congratulations to Capt. Matt Lynch on completing two years of the Deputy Pilot Training Program.  The first accompanying photo shows Capt. Lynch being recognized on reaching this milestone.  Congratulations also to Capt. Sean Morrissey who started his Deputy Training Program on September 1.  The remainder of the accompanying photos show Capt. Morrissey climbing down a pilot ladder after a recent job.  Deputy Pilot training is a comprehensive and intense program overseen by the State Harbor Pilots and the State Board of Pilot Commissioners for a period of approximately three years designed to prepare the Deputy Pilot to be a navigational and ship-handling expert for the Port.  During this time frame Deputy Pilots complete hundreds of transits of the Port under the direction and supervision of the State Pilots.  In order to qualify to become a Deputy Pilot, candidates must first go through an application and testing process with the  Florida Board of Pilot Commissioners.  Requirements include experience as a Captain or Deck Officer in the Merchant Marine and passing a comprehensive multi-part exam which includes the drawing of the port navigational charts from memory.  Requirements and openings may be found at the Board’s web site.  The candidate with the top score is appointed to the open Deputy Pilot position and reports to the port to begin the training program.   Maritime pilotage is a harbor safety system which provides safe and efficient passage of ocean-going vessels in and out of the world’s busy ports.  Deputy Pilots are trained so that they acquire the local knowledge, and the ship-handling training and experience, for restricted waters, narrow channels, shallow waters, currents, weather, other conditions and procedures  specific to the port, and docking and undocking maneuvers.  Keep up the good work Captain Lynch and once again, welcome aboard Capt. Morrissey!

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