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Pilotage Administration SUMMARY Pilotage in the United States serves both state and federal interests. Over- all, the pilotage systems exhibit the capability to produce pilots who are profes- sional and competent. However, the current approach is (1) complicated, (2) relies extensively on unpublished professional guidelines and standards, (3) ex- hibits variability in quality control over professional development, and (4) relies on informal means for detection and correction of weal OCR for page 99
100 MINDING THE HELM infrastructure, national policies, well-defined entry-level requirements for sea service and route repetition, consistent licensing and disciplinary processes, and a formal test of knowledge. But federal pilotage also lacics many central features of a comprehensive pilotage system, notably quality control for professional de- velopment, tests of practical piloting skills, requirements for emergency shiphan- dling training or continuing professional development, and official oversight of performance (except for discipline after a marine accident). Federal pilotage rules enable masters and mates to pilot their own vessels. These rules are not directed toward developing pilots as highly skilled, independent professional experts; they are intended to permit pilotage by vessel officers. The system relies on marlcet forces, including the employment, professional development, and assignment practices of employers, to achieve professional competency and proficiency. Masters or mates holding a federal pilotage credential may navigate any coast- wise vessel within license limitations under any conditions, regardless of prior service aboard that vessel or vessels of a similar class, the hazards involved, or real recency of service on the route. States generally regulate the practice of piloting through measures that influence business activities as well as through licensing of individual practitio- ners; actual measures vary by pilotage jurisdiction. Most state pilotage systems exhibit a broad range of the central features of a comprehensive pilotage system, although none has all these features. There is also great variability in system content and application of features. A few state pilotage systems lack most of the features necessary to make them comprehensive. While a small number of pilot systems include a formal, rigorous professional development regime, most rely on apprenticeships guided by informal professional development and evaluation criteria to develop necessary theoretical and local knowledge and shiphandling skills. With few exceptions, continuing professional development requirements have not been established, but a growing number of state pilot associations are voluntarily coordinating continuing training opportunities for some members. No state pilotage system has formal requirements for emergency shiphandling training, nor are there formal efforts to detect problems in pilot performance before they become an issue in marine accidents. There is no quantitative proof of widespread failure of pilots to meet safety standards. The varying completeness in existing federal and state pilotage systems with respect to features associated with a complete pilotage system, coupled with anecdotal evidence, nevertheless reveal opportunities for both lo- cal and systemic improvement in pilotage. A new synergism involving both state and federal interests is feasible and essential for improving pilot development, enhancing pilot proficiency, and enabling pilots to perform their critical roles effectively in changing bridge resource conditions. A coordinated approach de- signed to support pilot performance would enhance the marine pilot's role as an important line of defense against substandard ships, officers, and crews. A nation- al program could be mounted to assist in the consistent application of standards

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTRATION 101 of the profession, enhancing the integrity and accountability of pilotage systems while continuing to provide the span of port-level control that is necessary to accommodate local operating conditions and to effectively oversee provision of pilotage services. The effort could encompass: tion; improving public confidence and involvement in pilotage administra assuring jurisdiction over individuals piloting all vessels; closing gaps in requirements and accountability in pilotage systems; increasing professional development requirements for all pilots; establishing a national entry-level standard for all pilots (earned through either an apprentice program or marine service); establishing a means to validate professional competence as an ele- ment of professional licensing; establishing requirements for development of emergency shiphandling skills and continuing professional development; consolidating pilotage into a single system for each port region with both local and national oversight; and developing organizational structures necessary for effective gover . nance. INTRODUCTION With the discussion of piloting practices and the summary of the central features of a complete pilotage system as a backdrop, this chapter examines pilotage administration. The chapter opens with a description and analysis of the professional regulation of pilots. Federal pilotage for coastwise vessels and state pilotage for foreign trade vessels are then assessed by comparison with the com- plete pilotage model. Coast Guard resources for administering federal pilotage, an issue frequently brought to the committee's attention during the study, are addressed. Pilotage in the coastwise towing industry and pilotage for other cate- gories of commercial vessels are also examined. Lessons derived from reviews of pilotage systems for the Great Lakes, British Columbia, and selected Europe- an countries are presented. Finally, alternatives for improving piloting practices and pilotage administration are presented and discussed. Summaries of professional development requirements are provided in Ap- pendix F. There are no regulations that require pilotage for inland vessels, al- though their presence in pilotage waters complicates traffic patterns and can be a significant factor in vessel interactions. This is reported in the chapter; however, assessment of the effectiveness of pilotage in the inland navigation system was beyond the scope of this study.

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102 MINDING THE HELM REGULATING PROFESSIONS AND PROFESSIONALS Professional regulation, as the term is used in this report (see Box 3-1), applies to both the profession and its practitioners. Professions are regulated principally through standards, requirements for licensed personnel to perform certain functions, rates or compensation scales, and other measures. Practitioners are regulated principally through measures, primarily licensing, that authorize an individual to practice a profession or specialty discipline within that profession. Professional regulation generally is accomplished at the state level. In the United States, each state has a department responsible for licensing and regula- tion of certain professions, such as the medical and legal professions. The de- partment may set its own standards, or it may adopt or rely upon accreditation boards or panels operated by professional trade associations that set standards for their profession or specific disciplines. Licensing for tradesmen such as elec- tricians and plumbers typically is accomplished at the municipal level. Not all practicing professionals may be required to obtain a license, but a license may be required to perform certain functions; for example, professional engineers must be licensed to sign and be responsible for construction plans. Generally, regulat- ing business practices is not the responsibility of a licensing department. For example, licensing authorities are normally not involved in rate setting for pro

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTRATION 103 Sessions, although this function may be performed by some other governmental entity, such as a rate commission. Thus, professional regulation ranges from self-regulation to voluntary certi- fication to formal licensing requirements. The full range occurs in piloting, al- though licensing by some official entity is customary. Where pilotage is required by the federal government, all individuals who pilot vessels are required to hold a license, although not a pilot's license in every instance. Where pilotage is regulated at the state level, all individuals who provide pilotage services are required to hold a pilot's license. A license does not ensure that an individual is trained or current in their profession or trade. Its credibility depends on how rigorous the licensing require- ment is and what standards are used. However, licensing provides at least one test or filter for competency. An alternative to licensing is professional registra- tion or certification. Sometimes, certification has been used as a means to estab- lish professional standards and requirements for credentials as an intermediate step toward formal professional regulation in the form of licensing (Anderson, 1992J. Although certification is by definition voluntary, sometimes possession of a valid certificate or other credential is mandatory for engaging in a profession or obtaining a license. For example, an individual must hold a valid Radar Ob- server's certificate from a Coast Guard-approved training facility in order to operate inspected vessels of 300 gross tons or more that are radar equipped (46 U.S.C. 15.815~. In contrast to broad-based licenses such as those issued for motor vehicle operations, pilot licenses are restricted, with credentials estab- lished for specific waterways, routes, and tonnages. The Coast Guard has pro- posed rules that would establish a similar requirement for automatic radar plot- ting aids (ARPA)~55 FR 8155~. The effectiveness of certification programs depends on the criteria that the applicant must meet, including expertise, experience, and peer review require- ments; the standards upon which the certification is based; and the credibility of the certifying organization. Voluntary certification (or accreditation) does not guarantee professional qualifications or competency. Effectiveness also depends upon the extent to which programs are accepted by practitioners and those they serve. Such programs do, however, indicate that someone or some organization has made an effort to obtain a specialty certification or accreditation and usually that there is a willingness to ascribe to a professional code of ethics (Anderson, 1992~. Airline pilots and mariners are notable exceptions to the state and local control of licensing. Public safety issues and the need to protect the integrity of the national airway system led to the creation of a national licensing program administered by the Federal Aviation Administration. Professional regulation of merchant mariners is a longstanding federal responsibility except for marine pilots, as described in this chapter. Only the federal government has the mission, resources, and enabling authority needed to administer licensing requirements .. ~. . ..

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104 MINDING THE HELM for masters, mates, and vessel operators. A single federal license (with pilotage endorsements for local waters) precludes the need for multiple state-level licens- es. The federal pilot's license for vessels in coastwise trade is based on this concept. There are also federal interests in marine, public, and environmental safety that are served by professional regulation of merchant mariners at the national level. On the other hand, highly specialized, port-specific pilotage service requires expert knowledge of local operating environments and expert skills in the han- dling of a wide range of vessel types and sizes. Also, the volume of foreign trade can support only a limited number of local experts. Because of its local nature and the limited economic capacity to support local experts, pilotage fits the framework for professional regulation at the state or local level. The states also have a strong interest in marine, public, and environmental safety, and they are concerned about the economic contributions of waterborne commerce to local and regional economies. These considerations favor professional regulation of pilotage at the state or port level. Thus, in the United States, there is a dual system of pilotage administration for ports, waterways, and river systems supporting ship navigation, with federal regulation of coastwise pilotage and state regulation of pilotage for vessels in foreign trade. Whether this dual approach adequately satisfies both federal and state interests in marine safety is the focus of this chapter. FEDERAL REGULATION OF PILOTAGE Federal Pilotage Requirements Federal law requires that seagoing vessels in coastwise trade, including self- propelled vessels and tank barges that carry petroleum or hazardous cargoes, must be under the direction and control of a federally-licensed pilot when under- way in pilotage waters (46 U.S.C. 85023. Rules issued by the Coast Guard, the administrator of federal pilotage (Box 3-2), interpret this federal law to allow the master or mate of a vessel to act as its pilot if he or she has qualified as a pilot under those rules and has a pilotage endorsement on his or her officer's license. Therefore, owners of coastwise vessels may employ a ship's officer having the appropriate pilotage endorsement to navigate their vessels in pilotage waters. As an individual attached to the vessel and an employee of the shipowner, such an officer has a role that differs considerably from that of a pilot in the traditional sense of an independent expert. Piloting by masters or mates that leads to dam- age to their or another vessel can result in disciplinary action by their employers, as well as action against their licenses by the Coast Guard. Similar action may be taken if a vessel has been jeopardized without actual damage, if this information finds its way to employers or the Coast Guard.

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTRATION 105 Partly as a result of increased risk of liability associated with the Oil Pollu- tion Act of 1990 (OPA 90) and other legislation, masters or mates are increas- ingly less likely to act as pilots of their ships. Some shipping companies encour- age their masters and senior mates to obtain federal pilot's endorsements on their licenses to better prepare them to oversee services provided by independent ma- rine pilots. Where pilotage is required in the towing industry, it is usually pro- vided by a master, mate, or licensed operator. A small number of independent federal pilots-about 30 nationwide who are neither crew members nor company employees, offer their services locally to guide vessels on the pilotage waters for which they are qualified. They serve coastwise vessels in some mid-Atlantic ports from Maine to Virginia and in the lower Mississippi River. In most of these ports, these federal pilots compete for work with marine pilots from state pilot associations, who virtually all also hold federal licenses. Independent federal pilots are ineligible for foreign trade pilot- age, however, because they are unable to obtain state licenses; restrictions in state laws establish pilotage as a controlled-access profession, except in Con- necticut. The pilotage system in Connecticut is an open-entry system; the state has initiated steps to overhaul the system. Federal pilot's licenses or endorsements generally are required by state pi- lotage authorities or pilot associations as a prerequisite (or evidence of minimum competence) for persons entering state or pilot association training programs, and to meet legal requirements for providing service to coastwise seagoing ves- sels. In some cases, pilot apprentice programs are designed to satisfy service requirements for original federal pilot's licenses, as discussed later in this chap- ter.

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106 MINDING THE HELM Waters and Vessels Subject to Federal Pilotage Coastwise seagoing vessels are required by federal law (46 U.S.C. 8502) to be under the direction and control of a licensed federal pilot at all times when underway in coastal waters and ports within the U.S. territorial sea (seaward to three miles offshore in most locations). Pilotage is required for in-port move- ments, as from anchorage to dock, as well as during docking and undocking evolutions. This mandate means that the master or a mate, in order to dock or undock the vessel, must hold a federal pilotage credential (license or endorse- ment) for that route. If neither the master nor mate hold the necessary credential, then an independent marine pilot must be engaged. Federal pilotage requirements apply to self-propelled vessels and also to tank barges built to carry oil or other hazardous cargoes, provided they are coast- wise seagoing vessels. Only about 13 percent of vessels with coastwise routes on their certificates of inspection are tankships or tank barges, although about 80 percent of coastwise cargo tonnage consists of petroleum and petroleum prod- ucts (MARAD, 19911. U.S.-flag vessels may be documented to engage in both coastwise (sailing under enrollment) and foreign (sailing under registry) trade, but federal pilotage rules apply only when the vessel is engaged in coastwise trade. The trade in which a vessel is engaged depends on cargo and destination rather than vessel flag. For U.S.-flag ships that can serve either trade, the distinc- tion between trades may become blurred because of changes in cargo. The Coast Guard reports that the agency is preparing a Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular that will provide specific guidance to the marine community and to Coast Guard personnel to assist in distinguishing between foreign and domestic trade. The definition of "coastwise seagoing" vessels has been controversial in some respects, owing to the limitations and ambiguities of the term. For exam- ple, some operating companies have urged that a vessel should be considered "seagoing" and subject to pilotage only if it is actually engaged in a voyage at sea. But the Coast Guard has said a federal pilot is required if the vessel is authorized by its Certificate of Inspection (COI) to go seaward of the boundary line (as defined by 46 CFR 7) regardless of the route of the particular voyage. However, a commercial vessel that is limited by its document to inland routes in bays, lakes, sounds, or rivers, and for which there are no pilotage requirements under present rules, may make extensive voyages between coastal ports-for example, from New York to Boston; from Philadelphia to Norfolk; throughout the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway system; and throughout Puget Sound. The vessel merely has to remain inside the boundary line for the entire voyage. For tank barges under tow of 10,000 gross tons or less and for small, self- propelled vessels, the Coast Guard has made an exception from the general pilotage requirement (46 CFR 15.8121. For these vessels, the master or mate of the vessel or the operator of the towboat may "act as" the pilot if a limited

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~7 number of addidona1 requiromcuts ~c mcL Under Ls reguladons, 1hc Coas Ou~d docs no1 supervisc compliancc ~i1b 1hcsc requiremcnts, bu1 ~ m~ caL upOD 1hCSC iDdiVidu~lS 10 providc cvidcDcc of compliancc: gcDcraHy such rc- qucsts ~c madc ODly iD CODDCCdOD ~ith aD ~CCidCD1 iDVCSdg~doD. Pilota~c in hc 10~ing industry is discussed iD morc dc1ail l~cr iD 1his chaptcr. Fcdera1 law also authorizes 1hc Coas1 Ouard 10 roquirc a ~derally-UccDsod pilo1 OD ~Dy sclEpropcDcd vesscl cngaped io ~rcign ~adc iD U.S. ~1crs, if (and so long as) s1~1c la~ docs no1 roquirc ~ S1~1c-UccDScd pilo1 OD 1hC vOsscl a1 any dmc ~hcD ~ is under~ay iD pilotagc ~atcrs (Box 3-31. UD1d reccn11y,1hc Coas Ou~d has Do1 c~crcisod 1his authordy, aLhough ~ proviously 1hrcatcDcd 10 do so 10 inducc 1hc statc of orcgoD 10 imposc compulso~ pilotapc. ID July 1993,1hc Coas1 Gu~d proposed ~les 1ha1 ~ould closc somc cxisdDg g~s iD S1~C pHotapc ~r ~rcign 1radc vesscls by requidng a ~deraHy-Uccused pilo1 10 direc1 and control 1hc Davigadon of vesscls iD ~rcign 1radc 1h~ oporatc iD CC~8iD dCSigDa1- cd ~crs of Cab~mia, Ha~ah, Hassachuscus, Nc~ Yo~, and Nc~ Jcrsey (FR 38[130]:36914-369181. Coas1 Ou~d omcia~ havc iDdicated 1ha1 simil~ ~les m~ bc proposed ~r Cah~mia po~s ~horc ~atc pHo1 1iccuscs ~c D01 DO~ required. EVCD 1hough 1hc Coas1 Ou~d docs Do1 h~vc pHotapc govemiDg authod1y ovcr vosscls iD ~rcigD ~adc (c~ccp1 wherc a S181C has Do1 c~crcised judsdiction), hc Coas1 Ou~d can inOucDcc bs operadoD. Thc Coas1 Ouard has substantia 1 1 1d:pi1 i.ll ~illi.=I:# F6~11~1111~^S4~1 s~s~s~s~sss~s~s~s~sSis.~.Sss.ss~ss.s s.s s .. sisss sss ss~s~s~ss s sss s sss s ssss~s~s~ss ss! siss~ssis ss~ sis sss s sssis sisssisisss s sis sss s ss~s~s~ssiss~ssisisi~s~ss sSss~ss~ssss~ssssiss~s~ssisisssisssisisssisi~sssss~ssisssisssssssisiss~ Illlll~!~!~!~! I 111111lllllllllllllll^]ll~llllll~llll~sllll~llll~llll~/llllu~llll~lllll~#llll)~ll lll-~llllli#=llllll1 111111 1lllllllllllllll~lll~#lll#o~llllilll~llll~l~;lll-~llll~lllc~dlll~lllliLlll~llllll1 .~'I~I''IBI.I ~1 ~I~1~1

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108 MINDING THE HELM authority, for example, under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972, as amended, to issue mandatory orders to all vessels concerning movement and operating conditions. Federal Licensing Requirements The Coast Guard is required by law to ensure that federal pilots have and maintain adequate knowledge and experience for Me waters and vessels on which Hey are authorized to serve. To help meet this obligation, the Coast Guard has extensive power to regulate the licensing of federal pilots. Under present regulations, an applicant must pass an examination after at least 36 months' service on board a vessel or vessels, including Wee months within the preceding three years, and at least 12 months operating on the class of waters for which pilotage is desired such as rivers, canals, or inland waters. Practical training in an apprenticeship program approved by the Coast Guard may be substituted for some or all of the required service. The pilot candidate must also have a Radar Observer's Certificate. The candidate must have com- pleted 12 to 20 round trips over the route sought to obtain an "original" license, the first marine license that is issued to an individual. A candidate already hold- ing a marine license must complete 8 to 15 round trips for a pilotage route endorsement on that license. Pilot candidates, including those already holding marine licenses, are not required to have experience conning a vessel, to have any prior service or train- ing as a pilot (unless in a Coast Guard-approved pilot apprenticeship program), or to demonstrate competence or proficiency as a pilot. Extra requirements for a .~ - . 2' - .' ... .. .................... ................... ......... .................................. ...................... ............. .................. ... - ~.~.~,,.,,~.,,.~ ~~ c~ ,..,,....~... ....,...''' I'd " ......... .................. , ~ ' "' 'S . .,~. ,.~,.~ ~ i:,: ~ . ~ ................ ~ ................... .......................................... ........................................... .......................................... i. ~ :::: it. ... ~-~ .:::: ~ ~::~ ::::::: ::::::::::::::::::::::. .. ~ ~:: ~ . ~....... = . ..^ .. . ~. ..~. = . ~. ~. ~.. 1 ~91~ 1~ i~l^~h : . ~.. .~ ~ ~.~ ... -

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTMTION 109 specific port may be set by the local Coast Guard Officer in Charge of Marine Inspection (OCMI), but this is seldom done. That existing federal pilotage requirements represent entry-level criteria is widely recognized by marine pilots, docking masters, other mariners, shipping companies, and the towing industry. In practice, mariners seeking federal pilot- age credentials generally already have a marine license, and, by virtue of licens- ing criteria, practical experience. A deck officer aboard an oceangoing ship, for example, typically will have graduated from a maritime college and will have accumulated several years of nautical experience before qualifying for a pilotage endorsement. The more senior the marine license held, the more experience will have been accumulated. Many mariners seeking pilotage credentials are either masters or hold licenses as masters. Although a licensed operator of an unin- spected towing industry vessel might have different service than a ship's deck officer when qualifying for pilotage of tank barges, much of this experience will have been gained in pilotage waters due to the nature of coastwise towing indus try operations. The Coast Guard has approved 10 apprentice pilot programs run by state pilot associations as satisfying the requirements necessary to obtain an original Federal First Class Pilots License. The programs were developed by the associa- tions and submitted to the Coast Guard for approval. All are at least three-year programs. Round-trip requirements vary from 40 to 360. For example, 360 round trips are required by the Wilmington-Cape Fear Pilots for its apprentices before they can be examined for an original Federal First Class Pilot's License (Ben- nett, 1989~. Under federal law, the Coast Guard may classify licenses by tonnage of vessels, waters traversed, and other standards. Present Coast Guard regulations strictly conform to the provisions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping (STCW) for masters and mates (IMO, 1978, 19911. A master's or mate's license is granted for vessels of any type or gross tons based on service on self-propelled vessels of 1,600 gross tons or greater. The STOW standards do not provide parallel language for pilots. Because federal pilotage is directed principally to- ward deck officers rather than independent pilots, and in the absence of specific IMO guidance relative to vessel size, the Coast Guard applies STOW tonnage provisions to pilotage on all self-propelled coastwise vessels. An OCMI can issue a first class pilot's license restricted to a class of vessel, such as tug and barge combinations, which is the most typical case. To keep a license in effect, a federal pilot must make one "refamiliarization" round trip every five years over the licensed route. In the case of long routes, the pilot need only review charts and other materials. The license is granted for a term of five years. It may be renewed by mail upon evidence of one year of sea service in the past five years. There are no requirements for periodic review or oversight of the skills and competence of federal pilots or for periodic refresher

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148 . ~ : , ~ ~ ~ ~ i. .. :: ::::::::::::~::::::::::::: ::: :::::::::: A: . ..,~,..~,~, .~. hi., i. ... ~ a. . Gil.,. . . . .,~. ~ ., ~ ...~, .. ~ . . .. i.. s. . . MINDING THE HELM ~ ~ .. ~ :::::::::::: :~:::~:~:~ :::: .............. .. - .... : . . . '. '.' .'.'~.,~''',"~'.''".': '."'.:"'~.'''"""~', .. ., ~ .,, ~ ~.~, ~. ~ ~ i ....... ~ i ~ Hi. ~ Gil . . . . . . .. . . . ..... ...... this approach does not establish accountability for docking masters if they are used. In 1990, following a series of groundings and other accidents involving tank vessels and oil spills in the Port of New York and New Jersey, the Coast Guard convened a board of inquiry into these accidents. The board's report (known as the Henn report, for its chairman) concluded that docking masters should be subject to either federal or state licensing requirements (USCG, 1990a). Federal action in response to the Henn report to close gaps in state pilotage are in progress, as previously discussed. Related state action has been attempted in New York and New Jersey (Journal of Commerce, 1992b) but has not been brought to closure. Some other states, such as Pennsylvania and Delaware, re- quire the state pilot to be stationed on the bridge throughout the entire voyage, including the docking evolution, even though a docking master usually is em- ployed. In these cases, the state-licensed pilot is not accountable for a docking master's actions but is available to perform docking and undocking evolutions if requested to do so by the master. Some state pilot associations, as a matter of policy, have established the same requirement. The Coast Guard has expressed concern that requiring federal pilotage for intraport moves and docking, without establishing a local pilotage system, could lead to a proliferation of individuals attempting to provide such services. An "open" pilotage requirement also could result in employment of U.S. nationals holding federal licenses or endorsements aboard vessels engaged in foreign trade,

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTRATION 149 thereby undermining state pilotage programs. The Coast Guard has consistently indicated that it does not wish to establish and administer local pilotage systems, other than the existing federal system for the Great Lakes. Extending state re- quirements for pilotage to and from the pier would close the licensing gap. In any case, the institutional gaps in accountability could be closed through legisla- tive or regulatory action by either the states or the Coast Guard without disrupt . . ng services. The second option mentioned earlier is for state or local commissions to create a separate license for docking masters affiliated with recognized docking master or pilot associations. If adopted, this approach would enfranchise existing associations while also perpetuating current docking master affiliations with tug companies. The docking master's ability to engage in the profession would be controlled by both official governance and market forces. The third option is for state or local commissions to consolidate docking master services into existing state pilot systems. This approach would sever the relationship between tugboat companies and docking masters and likely would be opposed. Quality assurance responsibilities for docking master skills would be lifted from the tug companies, thus reducing their ability to protect their investment by influencing who will direct and control the movements of their tugs at vulnerable times. Tug companies with affiliated docking masters oppose measures that might impair their relationships with them. At the same time, state pilot associations and commissioners oppose consolidation because of concerns over the ability to economically support an expanded number of state-licensed pilots. Yet, both docking masters and state-licensed pilots continue to operate in East Coast ports, although reductions in the number of calls in some ports such as New York have reduced the number of pilots that can be supported. The piloting profession by nature does not respond quickly to changes in shipping trends and practices. Consolidation of docking masters, harbor pilots, and bar pilots was accom- plished in the San Francisco Bay area. The transition has not been entirely smooth; cross training was required, and debate continues even today after ten years of transition. This debate focuses on economics rather than safety perfor- mance (Thomas, 1993; Wastler, 1992a,c, 1993c,d,e). Nevertheless, this approach potentially could be employed to bring all piloting services under a single system in each port. State pilots also oppose making docking and undocking services subject to compulsory pilotage that requires pilot direction and control. One reason is their concern, as independent contractors, over potential liability for damage to a vessel or facility during docking evolutions. Shipping companies likewise op- pose measures that would prohibit a vessel's master or mate from docking the master's or mate's own vessel. Marine pilots and company management reason that the master or senior mate on certain vessels with unique operating character

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150 MINDING THE HELM istics, who has extensive familiarity with both the vessel's behavior and the route, is typically the most qualified to conduct docking and undocking maneuvers. Redefining the Pilot's Role The traditional role of the marine pilot is expanding under strain. First, marine pilots must maintain effective master-pilot working relationships under increasingly difficult operating conditions. Second, marine pilots are increasing- ly being expected, if not actually required, by some governing authorities to act as quasi-public officials in detecting and reporting substandard ships and defi- cient onboard operating conditions. Master-Pilot Working Relationship The traditional master-pilot relationship provides both shared decision-mak- ing responsibility and a means of direct safety oversight. It is not useful or even possible to define the pilot's duties or the master-pilot relationship more specif- ically by law or regulation because of the infinite variety of circumstances that might arise. These issues could be left to the courts and administrative bodies on a case-by-case basis; numerous decisions on related questions already have been handed down over the years. The related provisions of state laws-making the pilot either an adviser to the master or a servant of the shipowner probably are intended to deal with liability for damages rather than the pilot's role in naviga- tion. Questions of liability involve matters of public policy that are beyond the scope of this report. Marine Pilot Responsibilities Relative to Substandard Ships It is likely that some officials will increasingly expect marine pilots to detect and alert them to substandard conditions aboard ships. To formalize this process, criteria could be developed for use by pilots in detecting substandard ships and crews and in taking action to ensure that federal and state interests in public and environmental safety were satisfied. Pilots would fill an alerting rather than an enforcing role, except to the extent that the pilot can decline to provide services if the vessel is patently unsafe or perhaps move it to a safe anchorage to await correction of deficiencies. The responsibility of the pilot to direct the navigation of the vessel already involves the use of reasonable care by conferring with the master and perhaps other means to be sure that the vessel may be navigated safely to its destina- tion. If the vessel is found to be unseaworthy, then the pilot can decline to provide services by notifying the proper authorities. If a problem develops after the pilot boards, then the transit can be halted if necessary (for example, by anchoring the vessel). The pilot also has the option of notifying appropriate

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTRATION 151 authorities regarding deficiencies observed that threaten vessel, port, environ- mental, or public safety. While this authority is customary and in some cases codified, it is not widely exercised. Informal reports (often without attribution) are more common. Burdening the pilot with ancillary duties could create rather than alleviate safety problems. Additional responsibilities that do not pertain to marine pilots' inherent or prescribed operational responsibilities could interfere with their abil- ity to direct and control vessel maneuvering, thus compromising their primary role. However, pilots are in a position to detect some operating problems or deficiencies from their normal duty station on the bridge. There needs to be a balance between the pilot's primary purpose and responsibility aboard a ship and the provision of support to marine safety authorities. In the committee's judg- ment, attempting to use the pilot as a law enforcement official is counterproduc- tive to piloting duties. Rather than burden the pilot with enforcing national or state interests, it would be more beneficial to ensure adequate vessel-operating conditions by other means and to improve vessel master and bridge team capa- bilities to oversee or support the pilot. A combination of international coopera- tion and port-state initiatives would be required to motivate vessel owners and management and operating companies to provide quality crews and adequate bridge teams. If marine pilots are indeed expected to act as quasi-government officials providing a line of defense against substandard ships and crews, then it would be desirable to find ways to strengthen this responsibility without jeopardizing the master/pilot/bridge team working relationships that are essential to onboard co- operation and safe navigation. Methods could be developed for alerting cogni- zant authorities of actual or potential problems that would affect safe navigation. As in the case of the master-pilot relationship, however, legal definitions may best be left to case-by-case determination by the courts and administrative bodies. improving Pilotage in the Towing Industry The Coast Guard has not systematically assessed the effectiveness of its 1985 rule regarding tug and barge pilotage. Further, correspondence and testi- mony to the committee reflected substantial concern that safety could be endan- gered by inadequate standards for coastwise towing vessels and by the lack of official pilotage credentials and standards for operators of inland towboats and barge trains. There are insufficient data to determine statistically whether the piloting of tugs and barges is any more or less safe than the piloting of ships. Generally, operators of both coastal and inland tug-and-barge combinations at least those employed by large and responsible companies-are required by their employers to have more experience on local routes and in vessel handling than the mini

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152 MINDING THE HELM mum standards for federal pilotage, particularly for the transport of petroleum cargoes (AWO, 1992b; Farrell, 1991; Sanborn, 19913. The existence of these company requirements shows that these companies consider federal criteria in- sufficient for their needs (Sanborn, 19911. This state of affairs implies a need to strengthen federal pilotage requirements for coastwise towing vessels. While market forces may be sufficient to motivate attention to safety perfor- mance in some cases, they do not ensure universal concern. As with pilotage generally, official quality control to ensure professional development and safety performance is absent, and informal control is not consistently applied. Further, the safety of tug and barge navigation is of particular concern-as has been noted by the Coast Guard, NTSB, and others-because of the hazardous cargoes involved and the potential for marine pollution resulting from collisions, ground- ings, and other accidents. The Coast Guard's authorization for vessel operators to "act as pilots" ac- knowledges that there is a need for pilotage but does not provide assurance that the requirements are met. A tug operator is given status as a form of licensed pilot without determination or certification of professional competency to serve in this capacity. Although assessing pilotage in the inland towing industry is beyond the scope of the present study, the navigation and piloting of inland towboats and barge trains is of interest, because these vessels share pilotage waters with ocean- going ships and often transport oil or hazardous cargoes. The nature of pilotage in the inland towing industry certainly needs to be understood by the pilots of oceangoing ships that may encounter inland vessel traffic. The Coast Guard can take disciplinary action against the federal license of an individual operating an inland towing vessel. However, there is no pilotage requirement (or license). The absence of a pilotage requirement means there is no systematic official oversight to ensure the professional competence of vessel operators to pilot tug and barge combinations in waters shared with oceangoing ships. Some companies in the inland towing industry employ rigorous on-thejob pilot and master development programs, but the full extent of this practice is unknown. There are no data or analyses that demonstrate a safety-based need to expand pilotage in the inland towing industry. To cover the possibility of any deficiencies, however, the pilotage licensing process could be extended to in- clude inland services. Or perhaps an equivalent effect could be achieved through accreditation of towing industry professional development programs for person- nel piloting vessels and the establishment of associated standards by a credible organization having official accountability.2 2In 1988, after a long study and public meetings and comments, the Coast Guard proposed to adopt a rule (still pending) under which tug masters and operators would be eligible for federal pilot licenses for tug and barge combinations if they met the following requirements; (1) 5 years of service on tug and barge combinations of at least 5,000 gross tons, with 2 years on combinations of at

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTRATION 153 (consolidating Pilotage into a Single Program for Each Port and Waterway System Pilotage in the United States is a patchwork of laws, regulations, customary practices, overlapping jurisdictions, and gaps in coverage. This approach has developed in a piecemeal manner. The number of coastwise transits by U.S.-flag ships, upon which the federal pilotage program is predicated, has greatly dimin- ished. Theoretically, pilotage could be provided under a single program in each pilotage region without adversely affecting safety by building the revised system around the strong points of the existing state and federal pilotage systems. Exist- ing requirements for a federal pilot's license could be reformed as a certificate program to establish uniform entry-level criteria for all pilots. The fact that U.S. ship masters and senior mates serving permanently aboard the same U.S.-flag vessel or sister vessels on regular routes can under these select conditions poten- tially achieve high levels of piloting expertise for their vessels could be acknowl- edged through a pilotage credential program that verifies competency. Such an option would also satisfy the economic concerns of operating companies with respect to the cost of independent pilots. Credentials could be issued as vessel- and route-specific endorsements to the federal pilot's license or a master or mate's license, or could be a separate authorization issued by the pilotage licens- ing authority for jurisdiction over the pilotage route. Because of the importance of pilotage, any changes to the current approach would need to be carefully planned and executed to ensure that safety perfor- mance is not compromised and that economic issues are addressed equitably. Nevertheless, implementation of improved standards appears to be possible. Consolidating Ship Pilotage Under a Single Authority All ships could be subject to the same pilotage authority regardless of flag or trade. This authority could be federal or state. Federal interests could be served by combining some of the previously discussed approaches into a nation- al program. The first step would be to establish national standards and means for their implementation and then to bring all elements of the consolidated system up to these standards. Pilotage of all ships then could be administered under the state pilotage concept, subject to establishment and operation of pilotage sys- tems meeting basic national guidelines for administration and standards for pro- fessional competence and accountability. State authorities would continue to least 10,000 tons, while actually acting' as master, mate. or operator (not merely holding a license as such), and (2) completion of the same number of round trips over the route applied for as are required for other applicants for federal pilotage endorsements, with two thirds of the trips on combinations of at least 1,600 tons. This proposal offers an example of improved standards that might be appropriate for "licensed" persons who "serve as" pilots under the Coast Guard's 1985 rule.

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154 MINDING THE HELM have the authority to shape pilotage rules to meet specific local needs. A system organized this way would avoid the present duplications of staff and costs. Tran- sitional arrangements would be needed for marine pilots licensed under the present federal system, to transfer them into the respective pilotage systems for the ports served. I'nple~nenting National Standards and a Port-Level Pilotage System The objective of national standards of pilotage, administered by a port-level system, would be to ensure the development of qualified pilots for all vessels subject to pilotage requirements, whether in coastwise or foreign trade. These standards would also form the foundation upon which port-level pilotage sys- tems could be formed. Administration would be decentralized, conducted by regional or local authorities responsible for accommodating port-level concerns. The port-level authorities would ensure adequate professional development of pilots, issue licenses, and oversee pilotage administration and pilot performance in their ports and waterways under rules that meet or exceed national standards. These pilotage requirements could be supplemented as necessary by additional rules to reflect changing port-level needs for achieving safe navigation and pro- tection of coastal populations and environments, within the limits of state juris- diction. The Coast Guard still would exercise its COTP responsibilities as they pertained to navigation, piloting, and port safety. Correction of deficiencies that might arise in a port-level pilotage system would be best addressed at that level or close to it; however, if other remedies fail, the Congress would continue to have legislative authority to enact any laws needed. A major implementation issue for the port-level pilotage-system concept is the manner in which national standards of the profession would be developed and implemented. As described earlier, the general approach to professional reg- ulation in the United States involves reliance upon professional organizations within major disciplines to develop or propose standards, which then may be incorporated into laws, regulations, or licensing requirements. Pilots as well as state and federal pilotage authorities would need to be intimately involved in the formation of any national standards to ensure their effectiveness and their accep- tance by the professionals they affect. Similarly, a broad range of interested parties who rely on pilotage also need to be satisfied with the quality of the standards; such parties have safety, economic, and environmental-protection con- cerns associated with the movement of waterborne commerce in ports and water- ways. Finally, as with other professions where there is public trust involved, public interests need to be represented in the setting of standards of pilotage. Several approaches could be employed in the setting and oversight of pro- fessional standards. Sometimes professional standards are developed by profes- sional bodies and either applied voluntarily within a profession or incorporated into official rules and regulations. At the state level, standards for pilot develop

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTRATION 155 ment have been incorporated to some degree into some pilotage laws and regula- tions, but performance standards have not been established. Although much of the expertise required to develop standards for pilotage rests with the pilots, a more representative process would provide a basis for standards reflecting broad- er community interests. A federal agency could be designated or a commission with a permanent staff could be established to develop and issue national standards applicable to all pilotage jurisdictions, federal and state. Initial questions are (1) whether the setting of pilotage standards and oversight of their implementation would be best performed by a federal agency or by an independent commission, and (2) wheth- er, in the case of a commission, it should be advisory or have regulatory status. Only two federal agencies appear to be reasonable candidates for such a role if assigned to an agency, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the Coast Guard. MARAD has a longstanding mission in marine education and training, oper- ates a federal maritime academy supporting the merchant marine, and supports state-level maritime academies. It does not have pilotage administration respon- sibilities and thus has not been directly involved in the national pilotage debate. The agency has a sufficient infrastructure and, with access to the necessary ex- pertise, could establish national standards. However, MARAD would need sub- stantial added resources and regulatory authority to develop the nationwide administrative infrastructure necessary to oversee implementation of national standards at the field level. The Coast Guard has considerable responsibilities for and experience with administration of coastwise and Great Lakes pilotage. The Coast Guard could promulgate regulations that incorporated professional standards developed, for example, by an agency task force, professional association, advisory committee, or independent commission. The agency has a nationwide, regional, and port- level infrastructure that could be adapted for implementing national standards at the port level. However, representatives from the various segments of the marine community expressed concern to the committee that the Coast Guard may have (1) insufficient expertise to develop credible national pilotage standards, (2) lack of resolve to set rigorous pilotage qualification requirements, (3) insufficient professional expertise and resources that would be necessary to oversee pilot performance at the port level, and (4) insufficient working relationships in many port areas to obtain professional advice from the marine community. The Coast Guard's ability to access professional expertise from external sources at the port level varies because of factors such as the presence of proprietary and special interests within the various segments of the marine community, varying capabil- ities of Coast Guard port-level officials to work with the commercial and public sectors, and little apparent federal support for additional advisory committees at the port level. Further, these factors and the history of pilotage, especially the lack of rigorous federal pilotage qualification requirements, suggests to the com

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156 MINDING THE HELM mittee that direct Coast Guard oversight of a port-level pilotage system would not be accepted as credible by state and local pilotage authorities or state-li- censed pilots. Use of DOT-chartered advisory committees is a longstanding method for providing the Coast Guard with advice on safety, operations, waterways man- agement, and professional development. At the national level, such advisory bodies include the Towing Safety Advisory Committee, Navigation Safety Advi- sory Committee, Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Advisory Committee, and the recently authorized Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) (USCG, 1993a). All are chartered under the authority of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. Appendix I) to advise the Secretary of Trans- portation, via the Commandant of the Coast Guard, for the purpose of shaping policy for the marine industry. MERPAC is specifically charged to address mat- ters relating to the training, qualification, licensing, certification, and fitness of seamen (crewman and officers aboard ship) serving in the U.S. Merchant Marine (USCG, 1993a). The committee is not specifically charged to address pilotage issues. Similar DOT-chartered committees operate at several field locations, such as New York, New Orleans, and Houston, to advise the Coast Guard on safety matters of local interest. These organizations are generally not designed to con- duct in-depth assessments, although such activities may be feasible for some issues. The Coast Guard can to some degree influence the selection of committee members and topics. All meetings must be publicly announced in the Federal Register, and all meetings are open to public participation. The advice of adviso- ry committees is nonbinding. Another option is establishment of a commission through which nationally accepted and applicable standards could be developed. An independent national commission on pilotage, navigation, and waterway safety, with multidisciplinary membership with appropriate professional and technical expertise and capable of effectively representing pilot, federal, state, marine industry, and public inter- ests, could be formed to develop standards for pilotage as well as other port and waterways safety matters. Technical and administrative support could be provid- ed. Such a commission could be responsible for: . developing national standards for pilotage and marine traffic regulation; developing and administering procedures and processes for accreditation of pilotage and marine traffic regulation systems in accordance with nationally accepted and applicable standards; defining, promoting, and assisting in the implementation of a consolidat- ed port-level system of pilotage; and providing expert advice to the Coast Guard and other pilotage authorities on marine pilotage and marine traffic regulation matters. A national commission has been proposed before (Ashe, 1984), but the concept envisioned here is much broader in application and includes multidisciplinary

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PILOTAGE ADMINISTRATION 157 membership. Pilotage systems could be accredited by the commission (or per- haps organizations approved by the commission) to the national standards, but operated by local pilotage authorities using the existing pilotage infrastructure. What is envisioned is an accreditation program similar in concept to those used to accredit college and university programs that are designed to prepare individ- uals for professional careers. Although the national commission would not have operational responsibility, it could encourage and improve accountability by pe- riodically reviewing the performance of local pilotage systems as an element of the accreditation renewal process. It is envisioned that such a process would be accomplished in consultation and coordination with cognizant pilotage authori- ties and marine pilot associations, users of pilotage services, the Coast Guard, and other appropriate parties. Consultations also could be conducted with port- level advisory committees. As this overall approach is innovative, it would be advisable to periodically review the performance of the national commission so that its success could be gauged and any needed mid-course corrections could be made. A corrective action mechanism would be needed for cases when a port-level p~iotage system did not initially achieve accreditation or subsequently did not fully maintain the national standards. Backup provisions could include, for ex- ample, probationary status until corrective actions are completed and full accred- itation restored (the committee's preferred option). In the case of a commission without regulatory status, correction of deficiencies would rely on professional and public pressure that could develop in response to the loss of accreditation. In the case of a commission with regulatory status, additional options to motivate corrective action could be established. Probationary status to permit corrective action would again be preferred to more stringent options. In an extreme scenar- io where less intrusive measure proved ineffective, a pilotage system could be temporarily administered by a professionally credible administrator until the pi- lotage system were again accredited to national standards. Such an administrator would need to be acceptable to all affected parties, insofar as practical. The latter approach to pilotage administration outlined in this section mim- ics federal laws related to safety and environmental protection that set basic standards and authorize states to establish and administer more stringent rules reflecting local needs. (Such laws include, for example, the intrastate pipeline provisions of the Natural Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Safety Acts and provisions of the Clean Water Act.) In order for the commission concept to work, considerable implementation analysis beyond the scope of this report will be necessary. In particular, goals and objectives, commission membership, accountability, leadership, administra- tive location, official status, subject matter expertise, and staff support will be important to success. Careful attention in each of these areas and effective, im- partial performance by the commission will also be needed to establish concept and commission credibility with the federal and state governments, marine pi

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l5S MINDING THE HELM lots, the marine industry, and the public. In order to serve national interests in marine safety, commission membership needs to be carefully composed to as- sure balance and fair treatment as well as sufficiency of subject matter expertise. A relative small commission, about 5 to 7 members, would seem desirable to facilitate decision making. The commission's members would nevertheless need to be capable of effectively addressing the professional, technical, policy, and economic interests of the federal and state governments, marine pilots, the ma- rine community (including shipping and towing industry companies, and port authorities), merchant mariners, and the public insofar as these pertain to the commission's mission. Further, the individuals selected to serve would need to be capable of impartial and credible service. In developing nationally accepted standards, a considerable task by itself, the commission could appropriately in- volve representatives of the pilotage infrastructure and the marine industry.