Online Encyclopedia

PILOT

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V21, Page 614 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PILOT, the name applied either to a particular officer serving on board a ship during the course of a voyage and having the charge of the helm and the ship's route, or to a person taken on _+oard at a particular place for the purpose of conducting a ship through a river, road or channel, or from or into a port. The Law. Qualifications. PILOT bond and the amount payable to him for pilotage on the voyage on which he was engaged at the time of his so becoming liable. The licence may be revoked or suspended by the Trinity .House when it thinks fit; it only continues in force for a year, and the Trinity House has absolute discretion whether it shall be renewed or not. A pilot boat is approved and licensed by the district pilotage authority who appoints or removes the master thereof. In order to be easily recognized, she has printed on her stern in legible white letters the name of her owner and Ptiat Boats her port, and on her bows the number of her licence; anasignais. the remainder of the boat is usually black. The pilot flag is a red and white horizontal flag of a comparatively large size, and is flown from a conspicuous position. When the flag is flown from a merchant vessel, it indicates that a licensed pilot is on board or that the master or mate holds a certificate entitling him to pilot the ship. By order in council of 1900, on and after the 1st day of January Igor the signals for a pilot displayed together or separately are: In daytime, there is (r) hoisted at the fore the pilot jack (Union jack having round it a white border, one-fifth of the breadth of the flag); (2) the international code pilotage signal indicated by P.T.; (3) the international code flag S. (white with small blue square centre), with or without the code pennant; (4) the distant signal consisting of a cone point upwards, having above it two balls or shapes resembling balls. By night, (I) the pyrotechnic light commonly known as a blue light, every fifteen seconds; (2) a bright white light, flashed or shown at short or frequent intervals just above the bulwarks, for about a minute at a time. Pilotage in British waters may be either compulsory or free for all or certain classes of ships. From parliamentary pilotage returns, it appears that it is compulsory in about 64 districts of the United Kingdom (of which two- Compulsory thirds are the Trinity House districts), free in 32, free and compulsory in 8, while in 3 cases (Berwick, Dingwall and Coleraine) no particulars are given. British war-ships in British waters are not compelled to employ a pilot, the navigating officer becoming the pilot under the direction of the captain. If a pilot be employed, the captain and navigating officer are not relieved from responsibility. They supervise the pilot, and should, if necessary, remove him from the ship. In the majority of foreign ports British war-ships are exempted from employing pilots, but the Suez Canal and the ports of France are exceptions. The Merchant Shipping Act 1894 continues the compulsory employment of pilots in all districts where it was already compulsory, and also the already existing exemptions; and there is no power in any pilotage authority or the Board of Trade to increase the area of compulsory pilotage, though there is to diminish it. Compulsion is enforced by a provision in the act, that within a district where compulsory pilotage exists, the master of an unexempted ship who pilots her himself without holding the necessary certificate, after a qualified pilot has offered or signalled to take charge of the ship, shall be liable for each offence to a fine of double the amount of the pilotage dues demandable for the conduct of the ship. The exemptions from compulsory pilotage still existing in British territorial waters are as follows: Ships or vessels with British registers trading to Norway or the Cattegat or the Baltic (except vessels on voyages between any port in Sweden or Norway and the port of London), or round the North Cape, or into the White Sea on their inward or outward voyages, whether coming up by North or South Channels; any constant British traders inwards from ports between Boulogne inclusive and the Baltic coming up by North Channel, and any British ships or vessels trading to ports between the same limits on their outward passages and when coming up by the South Channels; Irish traders using the navigation of the Thames and Medway; ships engaged in the regular coasting trade of the kingdom; ships or vessels wholly laden with stone produced in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man and brought thence; ships or vessels not exceeding 6o tons, whether British or belonging to a foreign country specified by order in council; ships within the limits of the port or place to which they belong, if of any district, and the exemption of ships from compulsory pilotage in any district. Where pilotage is not compulsory, and the power of obtaining pilotage licences unrestricted, the board can in the same way give the pilotage authority powers with respect to licences, amount of pilotage rates, and the like. Pilotage authorities may, by by-laws under the act (which require confirmation by order in council), exempt wholly or partly any ships or classes of ships from compulsory pilotage, and regulate the means of obtaining licences, and the amount of pilotage rates, subject to a maximum limit. They must make yearly returns to the Board of Trade of their by-laws, the names, ages and services of their licensed pilots, the rates of pilotage, the amounts received for pilotage and their receipts and expenditure; and if they fail to do so, the board may suspend their authority, which is then exercised by the Trinity House. The statutes also provide generally for the qualifications of pilots. A " qualified " pilot is one duly licensed by a pilotage authority to conduct ships to which he does not belong. On his appointment he receives a licence, which is re- gistered with the chief officer of customs at the nearest place to the pilot's residence, and must be delivered up by the pilot whenever required by the licensing pilotage authority. On his death this licence must be returned to that authority. By an act of r906 no pilotage certificate shall be granted to the master or mate of a British ship unless he is a British subject; this does not, however, refer to the renewal of a certificate granted before 1906 to one not a British subject. Pilotage dues are recoverable summarily from the owner, master, or consignees of the ship, after a written demand for them has been made. A pilot may not be taken beyond the limits of his district without his consent, and if so taken he is entitled to a fixed daily sum in addition to the dues; if he cannot board the ship, and leads her from his boat, he is entitled to the same dues as if he were on board; and he must be truly informed of the ship's draught of water. An unqualified pilot may in any pilotage district take charge of a ship without subjecting himself or his employer to any penalty, where no qualified pilot has offered himself, or where a ship is in distress, or in circumstances where the master must take the best assistance he can, or for the purpose of changing the moorings of any ship in port on docking or undocking her; but after a qualified pilot has offered himself any unqualified pilot continuing in charge, or any master continuing him in charge of the ship, is liable to a penalty. A qualified pilot may not be directly or indirectly interested in licensed premises or in the selling of dutiable goods, or in the unnecessary supply.of gear or stores to a ship for his personal gain or for the gain of any other person. He can be punished for quitting a ship before the completion of his duty without the consent of the master, refusing or delaying to perform his duty without reasonable cause when required by lawful authority, lending his licence, acting as pilot when suspended or when intoxicated, and any pilot who through wilful breach of or neglect of duty, or by reason of his drunkenness, endangers ship, life or limb, is guilty of a misdemeanour and liable to suspension or dismissal; but the pilot has an appeal in cases of fines over 2, of suspension or dismissal, suspension or revocation of his licence, or the application of a pilotage fund to which he has contributed. This appeal lies in England to a county court judge having jurisdiction over the port where he is licensed, or a metropolitan police magistrate or stipendiary magistrate with the like power; in Scotland, to a sheriff; in Ireland, to a county court judge, chairman of quarter sessions, recorder, or magistrate. Pilotage certificates may also be granted by pilotage authorities, available within their districts, to masters and mates of ships; and the holder of such a certificate may pilot any ship in respect of which it is available without incurring any penalty for not employing a qualified pilot. The statute further makes special regulation for Trinity House pilots. Every such pilot, on his appointment, must execute a bond for roo conditioned for due observance of the Trinity House regulations and by-laws, and thereupon he is not liable for neglect or want of skill to anybody beyond the penalty of the this is not a place particularly provided for by act of Parliament or charter as regards the appointment of pilots; ships passing through the limits of any pilotage district in their voyages from one port to another port, and not being bound to any port or place within such limits or anchoring therein, but not including ships loading or discharging at any place situate within the district, or at any place situate above the district on the same river or its tributaries. Ships whose masters or mates are owners or part-owners of them, and living at Dover, Deal, or the Isle of Thanet, may be piloted by them from any of these places up and down the Thames or Medway, or into or out of any place or port within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports. The following ships in the London district and Trinity outport districts are also exempt when not carrying passengers, namely: Ships employed in the coasting trade of the United Kingdom; ships of not more than 6o tons burden; ships trading to or from any port in Great Britain within the above districts to or from the port of Brest in France, and any port in Europe (which does not include the United Kingdom) north and east of Brest, or to the Channel Islands or Isle of Man; and ships navigating within the limits of the port to which they belong. The port to or from which the ship must be " trading " in this provision has been interpreted by the decisions to mean the port where the cargo is substantially discharged or loaded respectively; and the word " coaster " similarly has been held to apply only to a vessel carrying to one port of the United Kingdom a cargo which has been taken in at another. Every ship carrying passengers between any place in the British Islands and any other place so situate must carry a compulsory pilot, unless her master or mate have a pilotage certificate. The effect in law of the ship (British or foreign) being in charge of a compulsory pilot under the act is that her owner and master are not answerable to any person whatever for any loss or damage occasioned by the fault or incapacity of any qualified pilot acting in charge of such ship within any district where the employment of such pilot is compulsory by law. In order to take advantage of this privilege, the shipowner must show (r) that a properly qualified pilot was acting in charge of the ship; there are, however, various kinds of qualified pilots—the qualified pilot who is always capable of acting, and the qualified pilot who is liable to be superseded if a better can be obtained; (2) that that charge was compulsory; the pilot, however, need not be compulsorily employed at the place where the accident happened, so long as he is compulsorily employed within the district where it happens; (3) that it was solely the pilot's fault or incapacity which caused the damage. Similarly, under the Harbours, Piers and Docks Clauses Act, the owner of a vessel is not liable for damage done thereby to docks or piers when she is in charge of a duly licensed pilot. This statutory exemption of a ship in charge of a compulsory pilot from any liability for her negligent navigation by that pilot, is only declaratory of the common law of England, and is based on the principle that the pilot is a state official put in charge of a ship, and is not the servant of the shipowner so as to make him liable for his negligence; and a British court gives the same effect to any foreign or colonial taw which makes it compulsory on shipowners to put a pilot in charge of their ship when within their jurisdiction. Most foreign codes, however, while agreeing with English law in making the presence of a pilot on hoard compulsory, differ from it in not putting him in charge of the ship; and in this case the defence of compulsory pilotage cannot be pleaded successfully in British courts. Judicial decisions have established that French, Suez Canal, Danube and Dutch pilots are not compulsory pilots in the British sense of the word, being only advisers of the master, or " living charts." But if the pilot is put in charge by the foreign or colonial law, although that law expressly provides that in spite of the owner surrendering the charge of the ship to him the owner shall still remain liable, a British court will hold the owner free from liability, on the ground that to make any person liable for a tort committed abroad, the act complained of must be wrongful not only according to the foreign law, but also by English law. This consequence which English law attaches to the employmentof a compulsory pilot has been much criticized in recent times, and it would seem that the foreign view is much more satisfactory in regarding the pilot merely as the adviser and not the superior of the master. Moreover, the adoption of the foreign law on this point would restore the old general maritime law. The policy of the law was at one time inclined to extend this principle of compulsory pilotage, on the ground that it was for the benefit of commerce and the safety of seamen's lives,+but it now restricts it within as narrow limits as possible, e.g. the presence of a compulsory pilot on board a tow who is directing the navigation of a tug does not protect the tug-owner from liability for negligent navigation. As already pointed out, pilotage authorities have no power to extend its scope. A pilot who is compulsorily in charge of a ship under English law has supreme control over her navigation, superseding the master for the time being; and if she is a tow he has also control of the navigation of her tug. The judicial decisions establish that it is within his province to decide whether the ship shall get under way, the proper time and place for her to anchor, the way of carrying her anchor, the proper orders for the helm, her rate of speed, and whether the statutory rules of navigation shall be complied with; and the master and crew must not interfere with his control, and only remain liable for the proper execution of the pilot's orders and the trim and general efficiency as to look-out, &c., of the ship. The master, however, is bound to supersede the pilot in case of his intoxication or manifest incapacity, and to interfere if there is a clear and plain prospect of danger to the ship in following the pilot's directions, e.g. getting under way in a thick fog. The pilot is entitled to receive from the master assistance in having his attention called to anything which a competent mariner would see that he ought to know. A pilot taken voluntarily, and not by compulsion of law, is considered as the servant of the shipowner, and as such renders him liable for his acts of negligence towards third parties. He does not, it seems, supersede the master in the control of the ship, but only advises him. The Admiralty and the Board of Trade and the Trinity House all take the view that the captain or master is bound to keep a vigilant eye on the navigation of the vessel by the pilot, and insist on all proper precautions being taken. For the purposes of a policy of marine insurance a ship is not seaworthy without a pilot in compulsory pilotage waters; and where there is no legal compulsion to have one, but the locality requires navigation by a person having local knowledge, it has been said that a ship must take a pilot, certainly when leaving a port, and probably on entering a port if a pilot is available. A pilot can sue for his pilotage fee at common law or in Admiralty (q.v.), in the latter case provided that the contract was made and the work done not within the body of a county; but he has a 'summary remedy by statute which is of easier application. He cannot be sued in Admiralty for damage done by a collision caused, by his negligence' (e.g. on the Admiralty side of a county court having Admiralty jurisdiction); but he can be made liable at common law or in the Admiralty Division of the High Court, although in the case of a Trinity House pilot his liability is limited to the amount of his bond and pilotage fee then being earned (see above); but the court has refused to join him as a defendant to an action in rem brought against the ship of which he had the charge. A pilotage authority cannot be made liable for the negligent navigation of a ship by a pilot which it has licensed, for he is not its servant, though it has been held liable for the negligence of a person not licensed by it as a pilot, but employed by it for wages to pilot ships into a harbour under its jurisdiction, itself taking the pilotage dues and applying them for harbour purposes. A pilot is not in common employment with the master and crew of a ship, and can recover for any injury done him by their negligence. He may be entitled to claim salvage from a ship of which he has charge, if the services he renders are beyond the scope of his pilotage contract, either from the outset or owing to supervening circumstances, but not otherwise, whether he is on board her or leading her from his boat. (See SALVAGE.) In the United States pilotage laws are regulated by the respective states. If the waters are the boundary between two states a duly licensed pilot of either state may be employed, but no discrimination can be made in the rates of pilotage between vessels of different states. In the German Empire the pilotage laws are very complicated. In the majority of the maritime states each one has its own regulations and laws. In Prussia there are government pilots who enter the service as apprentices, and are placed under a department of state. In France the general organization of pilots is regulated by the Statute on Pilots of the 12th of December 1806, aad the pilotage regulations for each port are made by the minister of marine at the request of his local representative and the Chamber of Commerce. French pilots are exempt from military service. See Abbott, Shipping (London, 1901); Maude and Pollock, Shipping (London. 1881) ; Marsden, Collisions at Sea (London, 1910) ; Select Pleas of the Admiralty (Selden Society, London, 1892 and 1897) ; Temperley, Merchant Shipping Acts (1907) ; Twiss, Black Book of Admiralty (London, 1871). (G. G. P.*; J. W. D.) PILOT-FISH (Naucrates ductor), a pelagic fish of the family of horse-mackerels or Carangidae, well known to sailors from its peculiar habit of keeping company with ships and large fishes, especially sharks. It occurs in all tropical and sub-tropical seas, and is common in the Mediterranean, but becomes scarcer in higher latitudes. In summer pilots will accompany ships as far north as the south coast of England into port. This habit was known to the ancients, who describe the Pompilus as Pilot-fish. a fish which points out the way to dubious or embarrassed sailors, and by its sudden disappearance indicates to them the vicinity of land; the ancient seamen of the Mediterranean regarded it, therefore, as a sacred fish. That the pilot accompanies sharks is an observation which first appears in works of travel of the 17th century, the writers asserting that it is of great use to its big companion in conducting it and showing it the way to its food. It is, however, extremely doubtful whether the pilot's connexion with a shark serves a more special purpose than its temporary attachment to a ship. It accompanies both on account of the supply of food which it derives from them. The pilot, therefore, stands to both in the relation of a so-called " corn-mensal," like the Echeneis or sucking-fish. All observers, however, agree that neither the pilot nor the sucker is ever attacked by the shark. The pilot attains to a length of about 12 in. In the shape of its body it resembles a mackerel, but is rather shorter, especially in the head, and covered with small scales. A sharp keel runs along the middle of each side of the tail. The first dorsal fin consists of a few short spines not connected by a membrane; the second dorsal and the anal are composed of numerous rays. The teeth, which occupy the jaws, vomer and palatine bones, are all small, in villiform bands. The coloration of the pilot renders it conspicuous at a distance; on a bluish ground-colour from five to seven dark-blue or violet cross-bands traverse the body from the back to the belly. The pilot-fish spawns in the open sea, and its fry is constantly caught in the tow-net. But young pilot-fish differ considerably from the adult, having the spines of the first dorsal connected by a membrane, and some bones of the head armed with projecting spines. These little fishes were therefore long considered to be a distinct genus, Nauclerus.
End of Article: PILOT
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KARL VON PILOTY (1826-1886)

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