Today we have talked to John Redman, Co President at Jacksonville Docking Pilots.
How long have you been working as a pilot and why did you choose this special job?
I have 20 years of service as a Docking Pilot in the Port of Jacksonville Florida USA. My father was Docking Pilot. When I was 5 years old he asked me if I wanted to go to work with him in the Port of New York. To this day I remember everything about that trip. We rode Mc Allister Tugs from Job to Job. I sat in the tug’s wheel house and listened to my dad’s voice over the radio as we pushed ships to the dock. Later I went onto the ship with him. That is when I was hooked and knew this is what I wanted to do.
What is the best thing about your job and why?
I am fortunate to do what I love which is being on the water. This makes the job more like a hobby. I also enjoy that the work is close to home.
Two vhf hand held radios, PPU, IPad, Cell Phone, ID, Mask, 2 Pair Reading Glasses, Safety Shoes, Gloves, Floatation, Knife, Flash Light, Docking Receipts and a positive attitude.
A 1972 Matchbox Toy Motor Cycle and a hand painted wooden Cross. My youngest child gave them to me and said “take these for good luck.” I have been carrying them for most of my career.
Do you have wishes for future improvements for pilots, especially in safety?
I would like to see these ULCC stop growing in size. Navigation concerns are obvious but the congestion on the piers during cargo operations is a potential problem. Simply walking on the pier can be hazardous.
The River currents can be challenging. Our Port does a great job keeping up with the siltation. It is important to keep a working knowledge of the water areas. This area requires tight quarters for turning of large vessels. When it gets busy, a primary concern is to keep vessels moving efficiently. This becomes challenging when there are tide windows for deeper vessels.
Pilots need to be able to work odd hours. A healthy strict life style is paramount for a long successful career.
One more question - what is your opinion about Marine-Pilots.com?
This web site is an amazing success story. It has created an open forum for Pilots from all over the world to share ideas and information. The rapid growth of this site is testimony to its success.