TITLE 23

Navigation and Waters

CHAPTER 1. PILOTS

Subchapter II. Licenses


Any person desiring to engage in the occupation of a pilot in the Bay and Delaware River shall apply in person to the Board of Pilot Commissioners for a license to entitle that person to follow that occupation. At least 4 members of the Board shall examine every person applying for a license as to fitness in all respects to perform the duties of a pilot and shall grant licenses to all such as they deem qualified according to their respective abilities. Each applicant under this section shall pay to the Division of Professional Regulation a fee, not to exceed $250, to be determined by the Secretary of State.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 2; Code 1915, § 954; Code 1935, § 1066; 45 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 1; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 111; 62 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 2; 64 Del. Laws, c. 360, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 7; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 17(1).;

Six classes of licenses shall be granted:

(1) First class, to persons capable of piloting ships or vessels of any practical draft of water;

(2) Second class, to persons capable of piloting ships or vessels drawing 45 feet of water or under;

(3) Third class, to persons capable of piloting ships or vessels drawing 40 feet of water or under;

(4) Fourth class, to persons capable of piloting ships or vessels drawing 35 feet of water or under;

(5) Fifth class, to persons capable of piloting ships or vessels drawing 32 feet of water or under; and

(6) Sixth class, to persons capable of piloting ships or vessels drawing 27 feet of water or under.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 2; 26 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 1; Code 1915, § 954; Code 1935, § 1066; 45 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 1; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 112; 50 Del. Laws, c. 90, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 158, § 1; 64 Del. Laws, c. 360, §§ 3-5; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 8; 72 Del. Laws, c. 87, § 1; 73 Del. Laws, c. 13, § 1.;

(a) No license of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth class shall be granted to any person unless that person has heretofore held or does now hold such license under the laws of this State or shall have served an apprenticeship as specified herein and by the Board, nor shall any license be granted until the person applying shall have arrived at the age of 21 years, nor shall any license be granted to any person until the number of pilots licensed under the laws of this State, excluding those pilots holding inactive licenses issued per § 102(13) of this title, shall have been reduced to less than 42, and thereafter such number shall not be exceeded. The whole number of licensed pilots, excluding those pilots holding inactive licenses issued per § 102(13) of this title, shall not exceed 42 at any 1 time.

(b) No person shall be entitled to a license of the first class until that person has served for at least 1 year in each of the lower classes.

(c) Any license issued under this chapter shall become void when the licensee reaches the age of 70 years, and shall not be renewed.

(d) Except as allowed by the Board or its rules, no pilot shall be entitled to a renewal of a license if the person fails to pilot at least 52 vessels over the route during the 1 year term of the license.

(e) Any pilot who fails to exercise the pilot's profession for any consecutive 90-day period is forbidden from piloting vessels. Such pilot may resume piloting vessels only upon certification to the Board that the pilot has made such refresher trips over the route as shall be deemed necessary by the Board to assure that the pilot is fully familiar with conditions along the route. Refresher trips shall be made in the company of a first class pilot.

(f) The provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall not apply to any person who holds a valid first or second class state license as of April 8, 1993.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 3; 17 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 3; 17 Del. Laws, c. 554, § 1; 18 Del. Laws, c. 619, § 1; 21 Del. Laws, c. 271, § 1; 26 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 2; Code 1915, § 955; Code 1935, § 1067; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 113; 57 Del. Laws, c. 158, § 2; 58 Del. Laws, c. 511, § 48; 61 Del. Laws, c. 151, § 1; 62 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 3; 64 Del. Laws, c. 360, § 13; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 9; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 72 Del. Laws, c. 87, § 2.;

(a) According to the needs and dictates of commerce and the interests of public safety, the Board shall from time to time solicit applications for and make appointments of apprentice pilots. No person shall be appointed to be an apprentice who does not hold either a baccalaureate degree from either a recognized and duly certified college or university, or from a maritime academy operated by the United States or a state, or a United States Coast Guard issued license to serve as third-mate on all oceans or master in near coastal waters aboard vessels of no less than 1600 tons, or a higher class of license. The number of apprentices at any 1 time shall be under the control and within the discretion of the Board of Pilot Commissioners. Apprenticeship openings, as they occur, shall be advertised for a period of not less than 1 week in a daily paper of general circulation.

(b) No person shall be appointed to be an apprentice who has committed any acts which are grounds for disciplinary action under this chapter except that the Board may waive such disqualification after a hearing that may include a review of documentation demonstrating that the person meets the criteria for a waiver if it finds:

(1) More than 5 years has elapsed since the date of the felony conviction:

(2) The person is not incarcerated, on work release, probation, parole or serving any part of a suspended sentence;

(3) The person is in substantial compliance with all court orders relating to fines, restitution and community service;

(4) The person is capable of practicing river piloting in a competent and profession manner;

(5) The granting of a waiver will not endanger the public health, safety or welfare; and

(6) The person has not been has not been convicted of a felony sexual offense.

(c) No person shall be entitled to a license in any class without first having completed the apprenticeship program enacted by regulation of the Board. The period of apprenticeship shall be 4 years, excepting those apprentices who, at the time of appointment, held the above-described third-mate's or master's license, whose apprenticeship need be no longer than 3 years. Apprentices must make a total of at least 500 trips over the route during their apprenticeship in vessels with first or second class pilots.

(d) This section shall apply to all apprentices appointed after May 4, 1993.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 3; 18 Del. Laws, c. 554, § 1; 21 Del. Laws, c. 271, § 1; 26 Del. Laws, c. 181, § 2; Code 1915, § 955; Code 1935, § 1067; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 114; 57 Del. Laws, c. 158, § 3; 62 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 4; 64 Del. Laws, c. 195, § 7; 65 Del. Laws, c. 229, § 2; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 10; 81 Del. Laws, c. 304, § 1.;

Each license shall be renewed annually, in such a manner as is determined by the Division of Professional Regulation, and upon payment of the appropriate fee determined by the Secretary of State, and submission of a renewal form provided by the Division of Professional Regulation.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 2; Code 1915, § 954; Code 1935, § 1066; 45 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 1; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 115; 62 Del. Laws, c. 105, §§ 5, 6; 64 Del. Laws, c. 360, § 6; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 11; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 88, § 17(1); 75 Del. Laws, c. 400, § 1.;

(a) Whoever exercises the profession of pilot in the Bay or River Delaware, the navigable tributaries thereof, including the C & D Canal, or upon any other waters designated as pilotage waters by the Board, without a current license granted under this chapter or under the laws of Pennsylvania shall be liable for a civil penalty equal to twice the amount of pilotage, as determined in accordance with this chapter, for each such vessel piloted. Such penalty shall be payable to the State.

(b) Any person who provides pilotage to a vessel in distress shall not be deemed to have violated this section if the person turns the vessel over to a duly licensed pilot who subsequently offers pilot services.

(c) No tugboat shall undertake to tow any vessel obligated by this chapter to employ a pilot unless such vessel has a pilot on board who is licensed under this chapter or by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The master or person in charge of a tugboat which violates this section shall be deemed to be piloting without a license and shall be liable for the civil penalty described in subsection (a) of this section.

(d) Any master, owner, charterer, operator, consignee, manager or agent of a vessel required under this chapter to take a pilot, who hires or allows a person to act as a pilot in violation of subsection (a) of this section while knowing that the person does not hold a valid license issued under this chapter or by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, shall be jointly and severally liable for the civil penalty described in subsection (a) of this section.

(e) The State Attorney General on behalf of the Board may bring an action in the courts of this State or any other court of competent jurisdiction to enforce this section.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, §§ 2, 15; Code 1915, §§ 954, 968; Code 1935, §§ 1066, 1080; 45 Del. Laws, c. 102, § 1; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 117; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 13; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Pilots regulated under this chapter shall be subject to disciplinary action if after a hearing the Board finds:

(1) Illegal, incompetent or negligent conduct in the performance of piloting;

(2) Excessive use or abuse of drugs (including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals);

(3) Failure to file a marine casualty report;

(4) Failure to obey rule of the nautical road;

(5) Violation of a lawful provision of this chapter, or any lawful regulation established thereunder;

(6) A license to practice as a river pilot has been subjected to discipline in any jurisdiction; or

(7) Conviction of a crime substantially related to the practice of river piloting.

(b) A pilot shall be subject to nondisciplinary remedial action if, after a hearing, the Board finds that there is a danger to health, safety or welfare of the public due to:

(1) Physical illness or loss of motor skill, including but not limited to deterioration through the aging process;

(2) Temporary emotional disorder or mental illness, including alcohol and/or drug abuse; or

(3) Permanent emotional disorder or mental illness.

(c) If a pilot's physical or mental capacity to practice safely is at issue in a nondisciplinary remedial proceeding, the Board may order a pilot to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination. Failure to comply with a lawful order to submit to a physical or mental examination shall render the pilot liable to temporary suspension or revocation of license in accordance with § 120 of this title.

(d) Where a pilot fails to comply with the Board's request that the pilot submit to an examination or attend a hearing the Board may petition the Superior Court to order such examination or attendance, and the said Court or any judge assigned thereto shall have jurisdiction to issue each order.

(e) Subject to subchapter IV of Chapter 101 of Title 29, no license shall be restricted, suspended or revoked by the Board, and no pilot's right to practice shall be limited by the Board, until such pilot has been given notice, and an opportunity to be heard in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 13; Code 1915, § 966; Code 1935, § 1078; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 118; 65 Del. Laws, c. 229, § 3; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 81 Del. Laws, c. 304, § 2.;

Within the limits provided, the amount to be charged for each fee imposed under this chapter and to be collected by the Board, shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of the Board.

64 Del. Laws, c. 360, § 12.;

(a) The Board may impose any of the following sanctions, singly or in combination, when it finds that 1 of the conditions or violations set forth in § 118 of this title applies to a pilot regulated by this chapter:

(1) Issue a letter of reprimand;

(2) Censure a pilot;

(3) Place a pilot on probationary status, and require the pilot to:

a. Report regularly to the Board upon the matters which are the basis of the probation;

b. Limit all practice and professional activities to those areas prescribed by the Board;

c. Continue or renew professional education until the required degree of skill has been attained in those areas which are the basis of the probation; and/or

d. Attend an alcohol and/or drug treatment program approved by the Board;

(4) Levy a fine not to exceed $1,000;

(5) Suspend any pilot's license; or

(6) Revoke a pilot's license.

(b) The Board may withdraw or reduce conditions of probation when it finds that the deficiencies which required such action have been remedied.

(c) In the event of a formal or informal complaint concerning the activity of a licensee that presents a clear and immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare, the Board may temporarily suspend the person's license, pending a hearing, upon the written order of the Secretary of State or the Secretary's designee, with the concurrence of the Board chair or the Board chair's designee. An order temporarily suspending a license may not be issued unless the person or the person's attorney received at least 24 hours' written or oral notice before the temporary suspension so that the person or the person's attorney may file a written response to the proposed suspension. The decision as to whether to issue the temporary order of suspension will be decided on the written submissions. An order of temporary suspension pending a hearing may remain in effect for no longer than 60 days from the date of the issuance of the order unless the temporarily suspended person requests a continuance of the hearing date. If the temporarily suspended person requests a continuance, the order of temporary suspension remains in effect until the hearing is convened and a decision is rendered by the Board. A person whose license has been temporarily suspended pursuant to this section may request an expedited hearing. The Board shall schedule the hearing on an expedited basis, provided that the Board receives the request within 5 calendar days from the date on which the person received notification of the decision to temporarily suspend the person's license.

(d) Where a license has been suspended due to a disability of the licensee, the Board may reinstate such license if, after a hearing, the Board is satisfied that the licensee is able to practice with reasonable skill and safety.

(e) As a condition to reinstatement of a suspended license, or removal from probationary status, the Board may impose such disciplinary or corrective measures as are authorized under this chapter.

65 Del. Laws, c. 229, § 4; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 14; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 79 Del. Laws, c. 213, § 1.;