Ship Piloting

The ship’s pilot assists the ship’s master for the guidance of vessels entering or leaving the port itself, the roads or the inland waterways. Ship’s pilots provide expertise both at a nautical level (tides, currents, etc.) and in terms of ship manœuvres.

The ship’s pilot is in contact with other port professionals such as the Port Authority’s Harbour Master’s Office for the transmission of the vessel’s orders, the tugboats and inshore pilots involved when the vessel docks and gets under way, and the shipping agents responsible for settling piloting operation charges on behalf of the vessel.

Ship piloting is compulsory for all vessels measuring over 75 metres in length and/or carrying hazardous cargoes.

In Basse-Loire, the Ship Piloting Service employs 32 ship pilots. The pilot boat La Couronnée IV is stationed out to sea and serves as a forward base for the pilots, who use launches to transfer to the vessels.

In 2009, the ship pilots carried out 5 133 piloting operations.