A journey back in time: films of pilotage from 1940 to 1975 (USA, UK and Germany)

by Frank Diegel, CEO Marine-Pilots.com - published -
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A journey back in time: films of pilotage from 1940 to 1975 (USA, UK and Germany)
photo by "British Pathé"

Let us start a journey back in time.
Back to the black and white films of history. The times have changed, but it is good to know what kind of things have changed and where are the roots of pilotage. You can better understand what kind of improvements was brought to your job by technology and the changing of many circumstances around piloting. You could not find a computer there. No exact weather and tide forecast. Pure seamanship. Enjoy our special list of videos.

Links of more films are welcome: info@marine-pilots.com


"PILOT AHOY! A PATHETONE SPECIAL - New York"
We are starting our journey in New York (USA) in 1940:
Good aerial views of dozens of merchant ships entering New York's harbour. Various shots of life aboard a New York pilot cutter. The pilot is rowed out to a merchant ship, goes aboard and then is picked up again. Apprentice pilots on board a training ship scrub the decks, lower a rowing boat over the side and study charts with a senior pilot to become familiar with the harbour.

A pilot boards a luxury liner. Good shots of the New York skyline as the pilot issues instructions to take the liner out of the harbour. He is collected by a launch. General view of a pilot ship on the water.

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River Thames Pilot (1960-1969) - no sound
Various shots following a river pilot. He is seen disembarking from one boat and climbing up a rope ladder onto a large ship.
Various shots of another river pilot, dressed in a cap, woollen jumper and sea faring jacket. He is seen at the wheel of his boat.

Various shots of two river police pilots on the River Thames in London. They are filmed in the cab and on the deck of their boat. They pull up alongside some riverboat houses and talk to a woman who owns one of the them. Back in their boat, there are now three river pilots making their journey along the Thames. CU. A river police union Jack flag at the back of the boat. VS. The boat drives alongside Victoria Wharf and London dock lands. VS. An RAF helicopter hovers alongside the police boat before flying off into the distance. CU. Another helicopter flying away.

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PLA Thames Pilots at Work
Footage showing the ARCADIA leaving Tilbury Landing Stage and PLA pilot boarding sugar ship bound for Thames Refinery.
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Helicopter Transport Elbe River-Pilot (1961) - no sound
Hamburg, West Germany (FDR - Federal Republic of Germany).
German helicopters are used to carry river boat pilots to where they are needed.

Big CU Helicopter pilot talking into mouthpiece. Aerial view from helicopter of boat below. MS as the helicopter comes in and lands on deck of the ship. Various shots as pilot is picked up from lightship and flown off in helicopter. LS From bridge of ship as helicopter flies overhead. CU Small bird sitting on capstan.

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Trinity House Pilot Cutter (1953) - Southampton, Hampshire
Various shots of Trinity House pilot cutter "Penda". M/S pilot's bridge. M/S as Second Officer Harry Goddard leaves the bridge and walks along the deck to his cabin. He takes his cap off, sits down at a table and looks at an album. C/U of his collection of matchbox labels. M/S Goddard sticking in more labels. C/U's Goddard and album. Various shots as he sticks in the labels. M/S of Pilot Knight and Captain Jolliff seated at desk. A waiter enters their cabin and hands them both a cup of tea. C/U officer's hand marking chart. M/S of the two men playing bridge. C/U's of their faces. C/U captain holding cards.

M/S wireless room. The operator hands message to deck hand. M/S as he walks along and delivers the message to Captain Knight. M/S as he opens the letter. He hands message to Jolliff who gets up from the table and puts on his hat and coat. C/U Jolliff speaking to Knight. M/S as Knight leaves the cabin and walks along deck. He goes down rope and onto motor launch waiting for him. Captain Jolliff watches as he leaves. M/S of him on boat heading towards liner "Llangibby Castle". M/S's as he boards the vessel and greets crew. M/S as white and red pilot's flag is run up. M/S as Knight greets captain Whatley and go onto the bridge. Various shots as Knight guides the ship under the command of Whatley. M/S as they consult the map.

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Video Look at Life - Pilot Aboard 1963

Look at Life Vol 01 Transport Pilot Aboard 1963

The story of Britain's pilotage services.

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Video The Maryland Pilots between 1950-1965 (a journey through time)

Found on YouTube. Posted by WickleinGroup

The Maryland Pilots have guided ships to and from Baltimore since the 1700's. They have been chartered as an organization since 1852. This is an edited except from films about the Pilots shot between 1950-1965 for the Port that Built a City and State. The original films are in the archives of the Baltimore Museum of Industry.

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Video History: River Pilot (1970-1975). River Thames, London.

Found on YouTube, Created by "British Pathé"

Unissued / Unused material -

River Thames, London.

Various shots of a River Pilot on boat on the River Thames. The pilots are organising a group of tugs moving along the river. They are turning an large ship around in a wide part of the river. Shots of the pilot as he comes on board the ship 'Sugar Produce'. Over shoulder shots of River Pilot on boat coming towards large ship. He climbs up ladder onto ship.
FILM ID:3298.03

A VIDEO FROM BRITISH PATHÉ. EXPLORE OUR ONLINE CHANNEL, BRITISH PATHÉ TV. IT'S FULL OF GREAT DOCUMENTARIES, FASCINATING INTERVIEWS, AND CLASSIC MOVIES. http://www.britishpathe.tv/

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Video History: River Thames Pilot (1960-1969)

Found on YouTube. Created by "British Pathé"
Location: England

Various shots following a river pilot. He is seen disembarking from one boat and climbing up a rope ladder onto a large ship.

Various shots of another river pilot, dressed in a cap, woollen jumper and sea faring jacket. He is seen at the wheel of his boat.

Various shots of two river police pilots on the River Thames in London. They are filmed in the cab and on the deck of their boat. They pull up alongside some riverboat houses and talk to a woman who owns one of the them. Back in their boat, there are now three river pilots making their journey along the Thames. CU. A river police union Jack flag at the back of the boat. VS. The boat drives alongside Victoria Wharf and London dock lands. VS. An RAF helicopter hovers alongside the police boat before flying off into the distance. CU. Another helicopter flying away.
FILM ID:3299.02

A VIDEO FROM BRITISH PATHÉ. EXPLORE OUR ONLINE CHANNEL, BRITISH PATHÉ TV. IT'S FULL OF GREAT DOCUMENTARIES, FASCINATING INTERVIEWS, AND CLASSIC MOVIES. http://www.britishpathe.tv/

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Article An overview of the different spellings for a Marine Pilot

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

Please use the menu item "Feedback" if you have another spelling or country-specific name for us.

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Video BC Coast Pilots "We Are The Coast Pilots"

Our team headed up to Price Rupert, BC to capture the on sea work of the BC Coast Pilots. These men and women spend days on large ship, in the cold and rough waters of BC. Learn more about this historic corporation in this video "We Are the Coast Pilots".

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Video History: Pilot Ahoy! (1940). A pathetone special

The good old times: 1940. Found on YouTube. Created by "British Pathé"

Titles read: "PILOT AHOY! A PATHETONE SPECIAL"

New York, United States of America.

Good aerial views of dozens of merchant ships entering New York's harbour. Various shots of life aboard a New York pilot cutter. The pilot is rowed out to a merchant ship, goes aboard and then is picked up again. Apprentice pilots on board a training ship scrub the decks, lower a rowing boat over the side and study charts with a senior pilot to become familiar with the harbour.

A pilot boards a luxury liner. Good shots of the New York skyline as the pilot issues instructions to take the liner out of the harbour. He is collected by a launch. General view of a pilot ship on the water.
FILM ID:1204.04

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Video Batangas Harbor Pilot on call - From home to wor

Found on YouTube. Creted by Capt.Harold Janda.

From home to work.

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Video Example of Covid-19 protection in India (Pilot Boat)

Found on YouTube. Created by "vijayabhaskar garikina"
Pilot disembarkation from ship (kakinada)

Editors note:
The shown protections are very massive in our opinion.
What does our community think about?

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Video “Harbor Pilot” 1960s Los Angeles Harbor Freighters & Ships Education Film

Harbor Pilot is a short film from 1967 that gives viewers a brief look at what a harbor pilot is and does. The film opens with footage of a sailboat sailing at sea, followed by a shot of a rocky coastline (01:10) and then an aerial view of a modern harbor — the Port of Los Angeles. A large freight ship, SS Gemstone, is out at sea. A harbor pilot stands on land at the Port of Los Angeles, looking out over the harbor. He walks into the pilot station at the entrance to the harbor to check the schedule. He looks through a telescope for an incoming ship (02:35). The pilot walks out onto the dock and climbs into the pilot boat, which he then steers to the incoming ship (03:49). The harbor pilot climbs out of the boat and up the side of the ship. On the bridge, he meets with the ship’s captain and tells the man at the wheel where to go to stay in deep water. The ship moves in toward the docks with the assistance of tugboats (05:10). The film shows several different kinds of buoys out in the harbor. A big dredging machine dredges the harbor (06:25); sand and rocks are pumped through a pipe and onto land. Viewers see ships as they pass each other in the harbor (07:00). A tugboat pushes the ship sideways to get it next to the dock. A heavy rope is lowered from the ship and is tied to the dock. The harbor pilot stands on another large ship as it leaves port and moves through harbor out to sea. A pilot boat comes out to the ship to get the harbor pilot and take him back to shore (08:59). The harbor pilot stands at the bow of the pilot boat as it moves back to port.A maritime pilot, marine pilot, harbor pilot, bar pilot, or simply pilot, is a sailor who maneuvers ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbors or river mouths. They are navigational experts possessing knowledge of the particular waterway such as its depth, currents, and hazards.Normally, the pilot joins an incoming ship prior to the ship's entry into the shallow water at the designated "pilot boarding area" via helicopter or pilot boat and climbs a pilot ladder sometimes up to 40 feet (~12 metres) to the deck of the largest container and tanker ships. Climbing the pilot ladder can be dangerous, even more so in rough seas considering that both the ship to be piloted and the pilot's own vessel are usually both moving. With outgoing vessels, a pilot boat returns the pilot to land after the ship has successfully negotiated coastal waters. The film was made by Arthur Evans, John and Barbara Upton, and Walter Soul, and released by Bailey Films.

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