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The bar pilots say they need to add a second pilot on some ships to ensure safety. “The value of our service to the state of California and the protection of the environment, I mean, I’m not sure you can put a price on that,” Horton said.
But the bar pilots have put a price on it. They want to charge 50 percent more for ships they believe need two pilots. The shippers don’t want to pay.
Mike Jacob of the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association says state law already dictates pilots’ fees based on the size of the ship.
So the pilots are … asking legislators to approve payment for a second pilot. This time, they have Assembly member Sandre Swanson of Oakland sponsoring the bill.
Swanson says he’d like to see them compensated for a second pilot, but he doesn’t want them deciding when a second pilot is needed.
“Should public safety be left to their discretion? I think public safety should be left to the discretion of the legislature who is responsible to protect the public,” Swanson said.
If his bill doesn’t pass,...

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