Piloting services have existed as long as sailing ships. In fact, there are references to pilots in the Old Testament of the Bible.

In the U.S., pilot services were an essential part of marine commerce before we became the United States. The first regulations governing piloting services were passed in Pennsylvania prior to the Revolutionary War.

The earliest record of pilot services on Puget Sound dates back to 1840, and the Washington Territory passed its first law regulating pilotage in January of 1868 — some 21 years before Washington became a state. The first pilotage commission followed two years later.

The Puget Sound Pilots were created in 1935 when the State of Washington required compulsory pilotage services for all foreign vessels traveling on Puget Sound and adjacent waters.

The Puget Sound Pilots were created in 1935 when the State of Washington required compulsory pilotage services for all foreign vessels traveling on Puget Sound and adjacent waters. That law defined the mission of the Puget Sound Pilots:

…it is the policy of Washington to prevent the loss of human lives, loss of property and vessels, and to protect the marine environment of the state of Washington through the sound application of compulsory pilotage provisions in certain of the state waters” (RCW 88.16.005).

Those principles are now embodied in the mission statement of The Puget Sound Pilots:

To protect the marine environment, economy, and security of Washington State through the safe navigation of vessels on Puget Sound and adjacent waterways.

Today, pilots work around the clock to ensure the safe navigation of vessels on the waters of Puget Sound for the benefit of the people of Washington State.