Working in partnership with the Pacific Pilotage Authority
Incorporated in 1973, The BC Coast Pilots is a private company consisting of approximately 105 licensed marine pilots who contract their services to the Pacific Pilotage Authority; the federal crown corporation mandated with ensuring a safe and efficient pilotage system on the B.C. coast. Approximately 60 of BC Coast Pilots are based in the Vancouver area, 40 are based in the Victoria area and 5 Pilots are based in the Nanaimo area. Three BC Coast Pilots are also stationed each week in Prince Rupert to address local traffic in the area.
President: Captain Kevin Vail
Vice-President: Captain Robin Stewart
Director: Captain Brad Taipalus
Director: Captain Steve Stangroom
Director: Captain Dale Hansen
BC Coast Pilots ensure vessels are safely navigated through the various waterways along the coast so there is no damage to the ship, its crew, the public, or the marine environment. The BC Coast Pilots mandate is:
- Safely navigating marine transportation;
- Environmental stewardship;
- To be Independent from industry and commercial pressure; and
- A responsibility to Canadians to protect the coastline
British Columbia is home to one of the most pristine and ecologically sensitive marine habitats in North America. The BC Coast Pilots play an important part in ensuring that our province’s 15,000 miles of coastline shelter waters are preserved. This same coast line is also a vibrant commercial waterway for large ships traveling to and from major world ports. Ensuring commercial interests co-exist with the preservation of the marine habitat and safety is very much the role of the BC Coast Pilots.
There are historical references to marine pilotage dating back to 350 and 300 years BC. On the coast of British Columbia, the first recorded pilotage services began in 1858 in the ports of Victoria, New Westminster and Fort Langley. The first pilot association, the British Columbia Pilots Association, was created in 1920. Various other pilot groups were formed and dissolved until the British Columbia Coast Pilots Association was created in 1929. Further changes to the size of the piloting district and government regulations promoted the creation of the Corporation of the British Columbia Coast Pilots in 1963 and finally the formation in 1973 of the present day company, The British Columbia Coast Pilots Ltd.