Navigation and Waters


Subchapter III. Vessels and Pilots

(a) Except vessels of less than 100 gross tons, every foreign vessel and every vessel engaged in foreign commerce or trade entering, departing or underway upon the Delaware Bay or River, the navigable tributaries thereof, including the C & D Canal, or upon such other waters designated pilotage waters by the Board, shall be obliged to receive and employ a pilot licensed under this chapter or by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

(b) As used in this section, "vessel engaged in foreign trade" shall be defined as any vessel carrying any cargo loaded in a foreign port, or destined for a foreign port, as well as any vessel in ballast, having discharged its cargo of foreign origin, unless such vessel has specific orders to a port in the United States at which it is to load cargo. Orders to a vessel to proceed to Delaware Bay, to sea or any other place for orders or instructions shall not be deemed such specific orders.

(c) If the master of any vessel refuses or neglects to take a pilot, the master, owner, charterer, operator, manager, consignee or agent of such vessel shall:

(1) Forfeit and pay to any such pilot suing for the same a sum equal to the pilotage of such vessel plus attorney fees and costs to be recovered by a suit in the courts of this State or before a Justice of the Peace, or such pilot may pursue a remedy therefore by a suit in admiralty in any United States court either in personam or by proceeding in rem, to enforce the lien given the person on such ship or vessel, as such pilot may see fit and proper to do; and

(2) Be liable to pay a civil penalty of up to $25,000, payable to the State, which penalty shall be enforceable via an action to be brought by the Attorney General in the courts of this State.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 5; 17 Del. Laws, c. 145, § 1; 18 Del. Laws, c. 619, § 2; Code 1915, § 957; Code 1935, § 1069; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 121; 62 Del. Laws, c. 105, § 7; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 15; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

No vessel employed in and licensed for the coasting trade shall be obliged to receive a pilot or be subjected to the payment of pilotage in case of refusal to receive such pilot, except ships or vessels bound to the states, territories or possessions of the United States on the Pacific Ocean, but a coastwide vessel voluntarily taking a pilot shall pay the pilot a fee which is no more than the fee for pilotage as prescribed in the case of a vessel bound to or from a foreign port.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 6; Code 1915, § 958; 28 Del. Laws, c. 65; Code 1935, § 1070; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 122; 57 Del. Laws, c. 158, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

The pilot who first offers services to any inward bound ship or vessel shall be entitled to take charge thereof, if the pilot's license authorizes the pilot to pilot ships or vessels of such draught of water. Such pilot, if required, shall exhibit the license to the master or commander of such ship or vessel. In case the draught of water of such ship or vessel is greater than the pilot is licensed to carry, the pilot may, nevertheless, with the consent of the master, take charge of the ship or vessel until a pilot duly qualified offers. If such qualified pilot offers before the ship or vessel has passed Brandywine Shoals, bearing east, the qualified pilot shall be received, and the former pilot entitled to pilotage according to the distance the pilot may have conducted such ship or vessel, and the latter to the residue of the pilotage which shall be ascertained by the President of the Board of Pilot Commissioners for the time being.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 6; Code 1915, § 958; 28 Del. Laws, c. 65; Code 1935, § 1070; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 123; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Every master or commander of a ship or vessel outward bound shall remain 6 hours after arrival at the Capes to give to the pilot on board such ship or vessel an opportunity to be taken out. If the master or commander of such ship or vessel refuses to do so, and if the same can be done without endangering the vessel, the master, owner or consignee of such ship or vessel shall forfeit and pay to such pilot, the pilot's executors or administrators any sum not exceeding the applicable pilotage rate, to be recovered in any court of record in which the same may be sued for by a civil action or otherwise.

16 Del. Laws, c. 449, § 7; Code 1915, § 960; Code 1935, § 1072; 23 Del. C. 1953, § 126; 69 Del. Laws, c. 20, § 18; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;