Marine pilots advise captains on the safest route to bring a vessel to its port of call
A marine pilot is a professional licensed mariner whose role is to take the conduct of a ship, to guide it along the safest route to its port of call. Although the Captain of the ship is very familiar with his own vessel and crew, he is not necessarily familiar with the specifics of each port where his vessel must go and therefore he requires the local expertise of the marine pilot to ensure that the ship, its crew, passengers and cargo arrive at their next port of call in a safe and efficient manner.
Marine pilots are intimately familiar with the coastlines, inland waters, shoals, harbors, ports, weather, tides, shipping regulations and restrictions of the area for which they are licensed and use their years of experience to prevent the vessel from grounding on any underwater shoals or colliding with any other vessels. Marine pilots are also familiar with the different propulsion systems, hull design, and rudder characteristics of the various types of ships and how these will react at different speeds and in different wind, tidal and current conditions. The marine pilots are responsible to their respective countries to ensure that the coastlines and sensitive marine environment remain unspoiled. Most countries of the world have their own marine pilots that go aboard vessels to guide them into port.