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Rivers and Moorings


Pilots with local knowledge have been employed on board ships for centuries to guide vessels into or out of port safely, or wherever navigation may be considered hazardous, particularly when a shipmaster is unfamiliar with the area.

In addition to local knowledge and expertise, pilots are able to provide effective communication with the shore and with tugs, often in local language. Qualified pilots are usually employed by the local port or maritime administration and provide their services to ships for a fee, calculated in relation to the ship's tonnage, draught or other criteria.

The importance of employing qualified pilots in approaches to ports and other areas where specialised local knowledge is required was formally recognised by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in 1968 when the organisation adopted Assembly Resolution A.159 (ES.IV) Recommendation on Pilotage.

The resolution recommends governments organise pilotage services where they would be likely to prove more effective than other measures and to define the ships and classes of ships for which employment of a pilot would be mandatory.

More information on pilotage can be found on the International Maritime Organization website. The IMO is the United Nation's specialised agency responsible for improving maritime safety and preventing pollution from ships.

Pilotage in our ports/harbours

For local information regarding pilotage on the River Blackwater please consult Admiralty Chart 3741, or telephone the Maldon Harbour Improvement Commissioners.

If you need any further help or advice, please If you need any further help or advice, please contact the River Bailiff on 01621 875837 / 07818013723 or email