FHPA Newsletter - January 2017
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Florida Harbor Pilots Association
News & Updates 

Biscayne Bay Harbor Pilot Applauded for "Remarkable" Action

Below, please find a letter from a vice president of Disney Cruise Line applauding Biscayne Bay Harbor Pilot Captain Mark Poole's skill and professionalism in regard to a recent, difficult situation involving a small craft. Thanks to Capt. Poole's expertise and alertness, he was able to safely maneuver a cruise ship and avoid injury to all parties.

Dear Sir,
I wish to commend the professional and quick actions of Captain Mark Poole while he was piloting the Disney Magic out of Port Miami on Friday, January 20th.  While outbound Miami channel passing through the breakwater two jet skis were passing in front of Disney Magic from the starboard side.  As the jets skis were in front of the Disney Magic (approximately 300 meters), two of the occupants fell off one of the jet skis into the water.  With the Disney Magic proceeding at 11 knots,  Captain Poole made a highly effective and safe evasive maneuver that avoided hitting the individuals in the water.  Due to Captain Poole’s actions, none of the people on the jet skis were injured and the Disney Magic safely completed its transit through the breakwater.  The Coast Guard Rescue Coordination Center was notified on VHF Channel 16 of the incident, and Coast Guard Sector Miami was also called once Captain Poole disembarked.  
It is always challenging and dangerous when small craft ignore the Rules of the Road in a restricted waterway.  Please pass along our thanks to Captain Poole on behalf of Disney Cruise Line and the Disney Magic for his skill and professionalism.  What he was able to do in this difficult situation was according to the Disney Magic’s Captain, remarkable.  
Patrick G. Gerrity
Vice President Safety, Security & Environmental Policy and Compliance
Disney Cruise Line
P.O. Box 10299
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Captain Viso Named President of APA

The Florida Harbor Pilots Association would like to recognize Port Tampa Bay Harbor Pilot Jorge Viso, who has been elected as president of the American Pilots’ Association, the national trade association of professional maritime pilots. 

FHPA would like to thank Capt. Viso for his service to the State of Florida, serving for more than 26 years as a harbor pilot, including serving as the president of FHPA from 2004-2007.

Biscayne Bay Pilots Association Acts as a "Well-Oiled Machine"

Recently, the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association averted serious arrival delays and confusion, caused by high-gusting winds, in a safe and seamless manner, and all arrivals went safely and on time.

We applaud the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association for their preparedness and proactive nature executed during this dangerous situation! In regard to the incident, Captain Jon Nitkin, chairman of the Biscayne Bay Pilots Association, noted the team acted as a "well-oiled machine."

Sen. Nelson Calls For $1 Trillion Roads, Public Works Project

WLRN - January 25, 2017 - Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson on Wednesday unveiled a $1 trillion plan aimed at rebuilding the nation's crumbling, roads, bridges and airports. During a visit to Tampa, Nelson says it would create more than 15 million new jobs by fixing roads, expanding bus and rail systems and modernizing ports and rebuild public schools.
Read the article in full here.

Port Canaveral starting process for channel deepening

Florida Today - January 17, 2017 - Port Canaveral commissioners on Wednesday will consider the next step in what could be up to a 10-year process to deepen the port's channel to handle larger cargo ships.

Read the article in full here.

Florida ports added 200k jobs in four years

The Star - December 5, 2016 - Florida ports added 200,000 new jobs since 2012 and were responsible for $117.6 billion in economic activity last year, according to a report issued by the Florida Ports Council.
Read the article in full here.

PortMiami Director Recognizes Biscayne Bay Pilots Association Captain

In case you missed it, make sure to watch Governor Rick Scott's recent "Fighting for Florida's Future" transportation event, where Biscayne Bay Pilots Association Chairman Captain Jonathan Nitkin is recognized and thanked by PortMiami Director Juan Kuryla for bringing ships into the port.

To watch the video in its entirety, please click here, or on the image to the left. 

FHPA Has a New Website! 

Make sure to check out our new website! Visit for updates, news, resources and contact information for FHPA. 

The FHPA represents the interests of Florida’s nearly 100 professional harbor pilots, advocating on their behalf regarding various state and federal issues that impact the harbor pilots. The FHPA encourages its members to perform their function as pilots in a professional manner and promotes continued cooperation with all governmental authorities in the preservation of life, the environment and property. 
Copyright © 2017 Florida Harbor Pilots Association, All rights reserved.

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