California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill that the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association said will enhance pilot safety in San Francisco Bay and its river system as well as Monterey Bay.
PMSA said Senate Bill 1408
"requires enhanced safety and accountability in the state’s oversight of its licensed bar pilots.... Among other basic accident prevention strategies, the legislation strengthens environmental protections and navigational safety by directing the state Board of Pilot Commissioners to establish enforceable rest periods and hours of service, make explicit basic drug and alcohol prohibitions, and require the Board of Pilot Commissioners to be notified of pilot DUIs."
PMSA noted "California already has a surcharge and fee framework that requires ocean carriers who use pilot services to pay for virtually all costs associated with the work of the bar pilots and the Pilot Commission. Any additional expenses related to this legislation will likewise be passed on to the ocean-going vessels that use state pilotage services."
Earlier this year, the San Francisco Bar Pilots said
they and Assemblyman
Sandré R. Swanson and SFBP had decided to delay a legislative
effort to establish rates to provide a second pilot to safely navigate
the world’s largest container vessels into the Port of Oakland.
Assemblyman Swanson’s AB 2287
would have provided a partial fee for a
second pilot that would operate specialty positioning equipment to
ensure safe passage.
In the past two years, the PMSA
has squared off with the pilots
over whether they are overpaid. - Chris Dupin