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Pilot

Pilot

Pilotage is compulsory for all large non-local vessels visiting Hong Kong so as to ensure their safe navigation within Hong Kong waters.

Since Captains of sea-going vessels may not be familiar with the geographical setting of the Port of Hong Kong as well as its marine traffic situation, pilots have to accompany the Captains when the sea-going vessels enter or leave Hong Kong. Navigational advice is given until the vessels are secured safely at piers or anchorages, or have left the busy areas of the Port.

To become a pilot, one must hold a Certificate of Competency (Deck Officer) Class 1 (Master Mariner) and register as a cadet pilot. Having received training for a period of 6 to 12 months and passed the examination, the cadet pilot can become a Class II pilot (Class II is further divided into IID, IIC, IIB and IIA). Starting from Class IID, a pilot has to accumulate at least one year of experience in pilotage in order to proceed to the next class until Class I (i.e. after accumulation of at least four years of experience in pilotage). During the process, the pilot has to pass the professional test of each class.

Since there are merchant vessels entering and leaving the harbour around the clock, pilots have no fixed working hours and must have good physical strength as well as eyesight.

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