Circa 100 AD Roman law requires that a captain take a pilot or be responsible for any damages his ship might cause.
1500 Sweden requires pilots.
1514 Henry VIII of England charters Trinity House, the first pilot organization.
1541 First lawsuit against a pilot filed in England (pilots sent to jail for negligently grounding the ship).
1681 France requires pilots.
1766 Colony of Pennsylvania creates a board of wardens to regulate pilotage in Philadelphia.
1783 Massachusetts adopts pilotage regulations.
1789 Our nation’s first Congress passes a law recognizing that piloting shall continue to be regulated by the states, and not the federal government. This law is still in effect.
1840 First record of pilotage on Puget Sound.
1860-1941 Port Townsend serves as pilot headquarters.
1863 Washington Territory enacts legislation regulating pilotage.
1868 Washington Territory enacts legislation regulating pilotage on Puget Sound.
Feb., 1888 Washington Territory develops rules and regulations for pilotage and establishes a three member pilotage commission appointed by the Governor.
Aug., 1888 Eight pilots have been examined and licensed by the Pilotage Commission.
1889 Washington Territory becomes the 42nd state.
1907 1888 pilotage law repealed.
1935 State enacts Washington State Pilotage Act, prescribing a five member pilotage commission appointed by the Governor.
1935 Puget Sound Pilots established.
1977 Puget Sound Pilots assist with development of landmark tug escort regulations for oil tankers calling in Puget Sound.
1985 Washington State Pilotage Commission agrees to fund manned model pilot training at Port Revel, France.
1991 Washington State Pilotage Commission expanded to include an environmental representative and a designee by the Department of Ecology.
1991 Puget Sound Pilots works in conjunction with tug, tanker, and naval architectural companies to develop comprehensive tanker escort procedures.
2004 Puget Sound Pilots works with the Pilotage Commission to revamp the qualifications and examination procedures to license pilots. Legislation and regulations put into effect in 2005.
2008 Following the Cosco Busan allision in San Francisco Bay, the Puget Sound Pilots initiate a comprehensive review of local safety and training procedures, recommending a significant number of changes in safety operations, and deploying Personal Piloting Units (special navigational laptop computers) to the pilots.
2018 Puget Sound Pilots celebrates 150 years of Washington’s pilotage act.