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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-66



Announcement of Apprentice Pilot Openings for 2002

[32 Pa.B. 293]

   The Navigation Commission for the Delaware River and its Navigable Tributaries (Commission) announces openings in its apprentice pilot program.

   The Commission will accept apprentice pilot applications through March 31, 2002. At this time, the Commission anticipates appointing four apprentices in 2002.

   Interested persons may obtain application forms by writing the Commission at 302 North Office Building, Harrisburg, PA 17120, by e-mailing Beth Barb, Board Administrator at or by calling the Commission at (717) 705-5552. Any person who previously had an apprentice pilot application on file with the Commission must file a new application in order to be considered for appointment as an apprentice pilot.

State Licensure of Pilots

   Every vessel transiting the Delaware River that is bound to or from a foreign port is required to use the services of a pilot licensed by either this Commonwealth or Delaware. A State-licensed Delaware River Pilot has the required ''local knowledge'' of tides, currents, channel depths, shoals and other conditions that are needed to safely navigate a vessel on the Delaware River.

   The Commission issues the following classes of pilot licenses based on the maximum draft of the vessel that may be piloted: first-class license--unlimited draft; second-class license--maximum draft of 45 feet; third-class license--maximum draft of 40 feet; fourth-class license--maximum draft of 35 feet; fifth-class license--maximum draft of 32 feet; and sixth-class license--maximum draft of 27 feet. A pilot must serve at least 1 year in each of the five lower classes before being eligible for licensure as a first-class pilot.

   The completion of an apprenticeship is a prerequisite to licensure as a sixth-class pilot.

Apprentice Qualifications

   To be eligible for consideration for appointment as an apprentice pilot, an applicant must obtain by July 1, 2002, either: (a) a bachelor's degree from an accredited college, university or maritime academy; or (b) a United States Coast Guard-issued license to serve as third mate on all oceans aboard vessels of at least 1,600 tons, or a higher class of license.

   Applicants will be judged on relevant education and experience, physical fitness and moral character. Prior maritime experience is desirable but not mandatory. The Commission may request a personal interview.

Apprentice Program

   An apprentice who, at the time of appointment, possesses at least a third mate's license will serve a 3-year apprenticeship; an apprentice who does not possess at least a third mate's license will serve a 4-year apprenticeship.

   The apprentice program, which will be administered by the Pilots' Association for the Bay and River Delaware, is mentally challenging and physical demanding. The program consists of a quarterly rotation of practical training and a regular schedule of seminars, testing and offsite training. The practical training is comprised of river trips, pilot launch duty, maritime tower duty and special duty. A 4-year apprentice will complete approximately 800 trips on the Delaware River and Bay under the supervision of a State-licensed pilot; a 3-year apprentice will complete approximately 650 trips.

   Apprentices will receive health care coverage and will be paid stipends as follows; first year--$15,000; second year--$17,000; third year--$19,000; and fourth year--$19,000.

   Apprentices will be subject to random drug testing.

Board Administrator

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-66. Filed for public inspection January 11, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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