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Los Angeles Port Pilots

Berth 68
San Pedro
USA

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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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