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It all started with the merchant marine and its growing traffic along the coasts and into the rivers.

Navigating a vessel through shallow waters with changing foul grounds made it difficult and sometimes impossible for masters to reach a port safe and in time.

In the beginning the captains of that times made use of the knowledge of local fishermen, who where familiar with the waters.

Establishment and authorities soon realized that shipping and trading would become safer and faster with the help of professionals. In 1656 the first german pilotage rules, the "Hamburger Pilotageordnung" (Hamburg Pilotage Order) was installed.

History of the developement:

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