Pilots continue to train throughout their career to hone and advance their skills. State law sets the minimum training requirements, but PSP members voluntarily go above and beyond what is required by law.

They undergo years of extensive training and continuing education in officer and crew management, computerized radar, electronic ship identification technology, and specialized propulsion and control systems. The training is intense, exhaustive and ongoing, and is part of our commitment to maintaining the highest professional standards.

Puget Sound Pilots constantly evaluates its training regiments and implements additional training requirements when warranted.

For example, based on the results of a safety review by Puget Sound Pilots and the prospects for huge mega-ships calling on Puget Sound ports, Puget Sound Pilots has implemented an enhanced training regimen.

  • Puget Sound Pilots have upgraded their members’ manned model training from every five years to a first year requirement for all pilots.
  • All pilots will take a newly developed Emergency Shiphandling course that includes the use of tugs, anchors and other means to cope with mechanical failures aboard vessels.
  • Working with the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle, Puget Sound Pilots has developed three new classes to enhance pilots’ skills in risk management, high-tech navigation, and tug escort procedures.
  • Members of Puget Sound Pilots participated with tug operators and tanker companies in an ongoing series of open water drills to test new high-tech tug boats in emergency scenarios under real life conditions.