2021 California Code
Harbors and Navigation Code - HNC
CHAPTER 1 - Pilots
ARTICLE 5 - Exclusive Rights of Pilotage
Section 1126.


(a) A person who does not hold a license as a pilot issued pursuant to this division, and who pilots any vessel into or out of any harbor or port of Monterey Bay and the Bay of San Francisco, San Pablo, or Suisun, or who acts as a pilot for ship movements or special operations upon the waters of any of those bays, is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition to the fines or other penalties provided by law, the court may order that person to pay to the pilot who is entitled to pilot the vessel the amount of pilotage fees collected. No fees shall be paid for pilotage if a state-licensed pilot refuses to join the vessel under paragraph (5) of subdivision (c).

(b) A person may also be enjoined from engaging in the pilotage prescribed by subdivision (a) by a court of competent jurisdiction.

(c) This section does not apply to any of the following persons:

(1) The master of a vessel who has relieved the pilot to ensure the safe operation of the vessel, but only from the point where the pilot is relieved to the closest safe berth or anchorage, or the high seas if closer than a safe berth or anchorage.

(2) Persons piloting vessels pursuant to the valid regulatory authority of the Port of Sacramento or the Port of Stockton.

(3) Persons piloting vessels sailing under an enrollment, as specified in Section 1127.

(4) Persons piloting vessels pursuant to Section 1179.

(5) Persons piloting vessels if a state-licensed pilot refuses to join the vessel. However, a vessel may not hire a pilot not licensed by the state until a representative of the vessel notifies the port agent or his or her designee that the vessel will hire a pilot not licensed by the state unless a state-licensed pilot offers to join the vessel immediately. The port agent or his or her designee shall notify the executive director of the board or his or her designee that this paragraph applies.

(d) The exemption set forth in paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) does not apply in instances in which a state licensed pilot refuses to join a vessel because of suspected safety violations concerning that vessel’s pilot hoists or pilot ladders.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 324, Sec. 2. (AB 1025) Effective January 1, 2012.)

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