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Old 06-21-2008, 04:40 PM
Ted Davisson Ted Davisson is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: I presenbtly live in Covington , LA.
Posts: 673
Default Pilot License

Greetings From New Orleans ,
First of all , thanks to everyone for their posting on this particular thread and this topic is something that has become rather near and dear to me since the Coast Guard in their infinate wisdom has recended the regulation for vessels and personel to sail under a First Class Pilot's License above Baton Rouge . Both the Govt.'s and Coast Guard's mentality has always amazed me from a number of different perspectives and this act of gross negelence on their part is certainly no different . Personally , I feel that regardless of the route anyone that stands behind the " sticks " of either a ship or a towboat should have a First Class Pilot's License ! If the public at large had any idea of just what goes up and down the river in those chemical tank barges , I think that they would first of all move as far away form the river as possible and then secondly demand from their elected politicians and the Coast Guard that the people that man these vessels have a superior license to what they are getting away with now . For example , someone with an operators license , regardless of local knowledge of the route or area can legally go anywhere on the U.S. waterways with no prior knowledge and with the most dangerous and hazardous chemicals known to man . Does this make a Lick Of Since ???? Go Figure and Go ask your local politicians why they allow this to take place at all times of the day and night and in all times of weather and river stage !! Just food for thought Folks and by the way , my First Class Pilot's License goes from Pilot Town on the Lower Mississippi River and up to Cincinnatti , Ohio on the Ohio river .
Smoothe Sailing !

Originally Posted by Bruno Krause View Post
Got some questions...Bob, you mentioned that "First Class Pilots" used to be required everywhere the boat went, not just "below Baton Rouge". I take this to mean that the pilots on the boats now have a different license, have taken a different test, or something. I guess I'm confused, could you enlighten me? I'm one of those newer riders and I have had the privilege of getting to know some fine pilots and masters on the DQ, the AQ and the MQ and I sense that the pre-1990's pilots had a tougher time to get where they were than today? I sure hope there isn't the suggestion that today's pilots aren't anything but supermen, my word...could you describe the differences between pre-1990 "First Class Pilots" and today's "Pilots"? Are there any First Class Pilots still working for the company? I guess so to travel below Baton Rouge... Is a First Class Pilot working above Baton Rouge a rarity? And I know that time back it was required during the test for a pilot-to-be to draw the complete river from memory, and that requirement is no longer required? And why aren't first class pilots required above Baton Rouge anymore, what changed?

Second question, I have surmised that the Master of the vessel needs to be in command any time the boat is about to touch something, such as a lock or a landing, and also the departing from that "touch". But underway the pilots are actually "in command" and the Master is free to leave the pilothouse. True? If this is the case, is the master allowed to be in command on a river that he isn't licensed for?

Third question, don't all masters have pilot licenses? Isn't that how they got promoted to being Master by being a pilot previously?

Fourth question, the DQ used to go on the Missouri...How far up the Missouri did she go (Sioux City is the last big stop due to Gavins Point, right?), and why did she stop going on the Missouri? And she went on the Missouri for a very short time?

As always, thanks in advance. Great thread...
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