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The pilots' role

"A maritime pilot is an officially licensed professional adviser with the necessary local and nautical skills to guide ships outside ports on the maritime waterways and over the sea. A maritime pilot does not belong to the ship's crew." (rule #1 GMPA)

The legislator chose a definition, which kept the governmental authorities in control of the quality and quantity of maritime pilots.

Rule #2 GMPA calls for a standardized and permanent pilot service for the safety of navigation.

Other parts of the GMPA and other regulations specify the field of activity and responsibilities of a maritime pilot closer.

Laws and regulations together draw the picture of the maritime pilots' profession: permanent availability and highest level of safety on and along narrow and shallow waterways with dense traffic. On top of it at comparable low costs and with the required independency: "The maritime pilot appointed for a pilotage district acts as a non-commercial independent professional." (rule #21 GMPA)

It is hard to compare the profession of a maritime pilot with any other job. A maritime pilot is usually the first citizen that puts a step on an unknown vessel that enters national territory and he is usually the the last person that leaves. He has to guide the ship fast and safe at any time of the day throughout the year. He allways acts on his own responsibility with the law as his boss and very little paper work.

The responsibility for the vessel itself stays with the master of the vessel, who is an expert on his own. The pilot comes with an obliagtion and a duty to give best advice.

2012 www.bundeslotsenkammer.de