These fast, sturdy, boats have to ferry Belfast pilots out to large vessels coming in to Belfast harbour. Piloted vessels range from large tankers, bulk carriers, container ships, ferries and cruise liners, right down to barges and fishing boats. Not only this, Belfast Harbour pilots are frequently called upon to do other tasks such as command, plan and co-ordinate various sea trials for new buildings, oil rigs and numerous conversions for the Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast. It goes without saying then that Belfast Harbour pilots are extremely well qualified/skilfull men/women.
At present, Belfast Lough Pilotage Services has 12 pilots at their disposal, 9 of whom are fully authorised, "unlimited tonnage" pilots. The other are 3 junior pilots, progressing through the joint BLPS/BHC Pilotage Training Programme.