A Day in the Life
Bar Pilots are the only groups of State Commissioned Pilots in the country that stay on station for 2 weeks at a time. Pilots and their support staff remain on location so that ships may be serviced on a 24 hour per day, 7 days per week, 365 day a year basis. The remote location to the entrance of the Mississippi River requires the Pilots to maintain two Pilot stations.
More importantly this allows the Bar Pilots to closely monitor local conditions; weather, tides, channel shoaling, traffic density on an ongoing basis and have up to date information as needed. Being "on station" also provides Bar Pilots the opportunity to converse regularly with one another about the changing conditions and latest information. This is a very key ingredient to keep traffic flowing efficiently and safely.
The Bar Pilots have operated an internal Vessel Traffic System for over 60 years and have continually upgraded with the latest technology. This not only serves the Pilots but routinely our dispatchers will provide traffic information and local conditions to other mariners as well.