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Coastal pilot

Find the resources you need to become a coastal pilot and contribute to the safety of ships in sensitive sea areas around Australia.

Pilot boat

You will need to hold specific qualifications and complete training courses to become a coastal pilot in Australia.

Once you have become a coastal pilot, you will need to access navigation materials, and keep up to date with new developments.

Fatigue when on the job is a significant issue for coastal pilots. Make sure you know how to manage it while you are carrying out your duties.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safety Alert

We have published guidance for coastal pilots and pilotage providers licensed under Marine Order 54, and encourage a precautionary approach in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.

Read the safety alert.

Qualifications and training

As a coastal pilot, you will contribute to the safety of ships in particularly sensitive sea areas. To be qualified, we need to verify your existing certificates. We also ask you to complete some additional qualifications.

Find out how to become a coastal pilot.

Sensitive sea areas

If you are a coastal pilot, you will be employed to work with vessels in particularly sensitive sea areas. You must know how to navigate vessels of any size through environmentally fragile areas.

Get to know navigation options through the Great Barrier Reef.

Find out about the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait vessel traffic service.

Know more about your obligations in environmentally fragile areas.

Vessel traffic services

As a coastal pilot you will need to be aware of, and work with, vessel traffic services. Vessel traffic services will be a valuable resource for you in aiding the navigation of a vessel.


Fatigue management

Fatigue-related issues are a major risk factor for coastal pilots. Make sure you know how to manage fatigue in your role as a coastal pilot and that you are aware of all of the controls in place which help you mitigate this risk.

Find out more about coastal pilot fatigue management.

Pilot advisory notes

Our pilot advisory notes provide you with details including under keel clearance requirements, incident reporting and reporting procedures, carriage of electronic charting systems, and more.

View the list of pilot advisory notes.

Last updated: 26 October 2020