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Rules and Regulations

Rhode Island State Pilotage Commission

  • Board Meeting
    Meeting of the 2017 Pilot Commission board members
  • ship
    A cement ship transitions the channel to Providence off Colt State Park
  • ship in fog
    Proport in the early morning fog near the Narragansett Bay Commission's windmills at Provport.
  • docking
    A tanker docks at Exxon Mobil in the ice.
Annual Public Hearing

May 2, 2019 at 9:30 AM
RIDEM, Division of Law Enforcement, 235 Promenade Street, Room 250, Providence, RI
Meeting Agenda | View Public Notice

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

View the current pilot roster

Captain E. Howard McVay, Jr., Chairman
Howard McVayCaptain 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.

Frank Floor
Frank FloorFrank 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
Peter FritzCaptain 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.

Christina Hoefsmit, ESQ, Legal Counsel to the Commission
Gary PowersAttorney Hoefsmit joined the Commission as Legal Counsel in January 2018. In that capacity she represents the Commission’s interest in all tribunals and assists the Commission with the enforcement of the State Pilotage Commission Rules and Regulations. Attorney Hoefsmit also serves as Senior Legal Counsel within the Department of Environmental Management; holding a Bachelor’s of Science in Aquatic Fishery Science as well as a Master’s of Marine Affairs.

Joanne Scorpio, Secretary to the Commission
Joanne ScorpioJoanne 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.

Report of Accident/Occurrence/Incident Form

Roster of RI State Pilots, Probationary & Apprentice Pilots
Roster as of 1/1/18 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
Capt. Adam Sanford November 2017
Probationary: Narragansett Bay
Apprentice: Narragansett Bay
Capt. Dale Harper September 2016
Block Island Sound
Capt. Dale Harper February 2016
(*) Denotes retired from the “Rotation roster”.