Rhode Island State Pilotage Commission
The Rhode Island State Pilotage Commission was establised to: provide maximum safety from the dangers of navigation for vessels entering or leaving the waters of this state; to maintain a state pilotage system devoted to the preservation and protection of lives, property, and vessels entering or leaving waters of this state at the highest standard of efficiency; and, to insure an adequate supply of pilots well qualified for the discharge of their duties.
The Rhode Island State Pilotage Commission meets on the first Thursday of each month with the exceptions of July & August. Meetings are held at the Department of Environmental Management, Division of Law Enforcement offices at 235 Promenade Street, Providence Rhode Island. Meetings are open to the general public. One public hearing is required to be held each year for the purposes of reviewing any proposed changes to the Pilot Regulations, to assess the need for new pilots and to take comments from the public, and all other matters under the jurisdiction of the Commission.
Meet the Commission Members
Captain E. Howard McVay, Jr., Chairman
Captain McVay is a deep sea master mariner with over 30 years piloting experience. He grew up sailing and racing on the waters of New England and Narragansett Bay. Prior to becoming a Northeast Marine Pilot, Captain McVay graduated from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and went to sea first with the Masters Mates and Pilots (MMP) union followed by Arco Marine. With Arco Marine, Captain McVay sailed aboard the largest vessels under the United States flag. Captain McVay has been a Pilot Commissioner since 1998.
Larry, Associate Director of DEM’s Bureau of Natural Resources, is a 38 year veteran of DEM, where he has held various positions of increasing responsibility. He is responsible for the natural resource management functions, including the oversight of 8 divisions and 225 full-time and 470 seasonal employees. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from URI and has completed advanced training in incident command, the DEM Municipal Police Academy, and forestry law enforcement and firefighting. He has been a Commissioner since 2005.
Frank Floor is a graduate of Roger Williams University with a BS in Administration of Criminal Justice. He has been a law enforcement officer for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for 29 years and is currently Deputy Chief of the RIDEM Division of Law Enforcement, which is responsible for natural resource law enforcement in Rhode Island including enforcement of hunting, fishing (commercial and recreational) and boating safety laws and regulations.
Captain J. Peter Fritz, Vice Chair
Captain Fritz was brought up on Narragansett Bay and knew at an early age that he wanted to “go to sea.” Just days after graduating high school, he joined the brand new super-tanker Mobil Aero as an ordinary, advancing quickly to able body seaman. He is a graduate of Wentworth Institute in Boston and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He served for over 26 years, as Third Mate thru Ship’s Master on tankers, breakbulk freighters and the largest automated container vessels afloat. Presently he is with the Transportation Security Administration at T.F. Green Airport. Captain Fritz was appointed to the Commission in 2004.
Gary Powers, ESQ, Legal Counsel to the Commission
Attorney Powers has served as Legal Counsel to the Commission since July 2001 including the representation of the Commission relative to various administrative proceedings enforcing the duly promulgated regulations of the Commission. Attorney Powers also serves as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel within the Department of Environmental Management and has previously served as the State’s Environmental Advocate under Attorney General James O’Neil from 1987 to 1989.
Joanne Scorpio, Secretary to the Commission
Joanne joined the Pilot Commission in 2008. She composes meeting minutes and provides administrative support to the Commission. She began her career at DEM working in various divisions. She currently works for the Division of Law Enforcement reporting state boating accidents to the USCG and has other responsibilities for the boating safety section and the Office of Criminal Investigation. Joanne has a degree in Liberal Arts and also graduated from Katharine Gibbs School.
RI State Licensed pilots are required to report to the Commission any of the following occurrences.
- Grounding, striking of a submerged object, or unintended contact with any object or vessel. Loss or reduction of vessel main propulsion. Loss of electrical power. Loss of, or an improperly working gyro. Loss of steering.
- Damage to vessel, dock, or terminal during docking or undocking.
- Emergency use of an anchor. Loss of an anchor.
- Complain against a pilot for excessive speed, wake, or any damage caused by a vessel.
Roster of RI State Pilots, Probationary & Apprentice PilotsRoster as of 2/2/17 with license dates
|Full Branch Narrgansett Bay|
|Capt. Joseph Maco (*)||July 1981|
|Capt. E. Howard McVay Jr||March 1987|
|Capt. Clinton Walker||December 2006|
|Capt. Vincent Kirby||June 2007|
|Capt. Richard Astles||June 2008|
|Capt. Sean Bogus||April 2012|
|Capt. Dave Gray||February 2017|
|Probationary: Narragansett Bay|
|Capt. Adam Sanford||February 2016|
|Apprentice: Narragansett Bay|
|Capt. Dale Harper||September 2016|
|Block Island Sound|
|Capt. Dale Harper||February 2016|
|(*) Denotes retired from the “Rotation roster”.|
- April 6, 2017 Hearing re: Proposed Amendments to Pilotage Regulations
- Current Regulations
- Superseded Regulations
- Guidelines for Probationary Pilot Advancement
- RI Probationary Pilots Regulations 2017
- Statutory Authority
- State Pilot Board
- National Transportation Safety Board: Safer Seas Digest 2016
- USCG: Requirements For Uninspected Passenger Vessels