Maritime or river pilots possess a specialised and detailed knowledge of a particular port, its approaches and geographical area as well as the prevailing tidal and weather conditions. They are also expert and highly specialised ship handlers.

Maritime pilots have a responsibility to maintain and ensure national and international standards by observing, reporting and, if needs be taking action to mitigate risk to shipping and the environment.

Everything that a Marine Pilot does in the conduct of their duty has safety as the primary focus so to protect the ship and its crew, the port infrastructure, its employees and the environment.

A marine pilot is an experienced seafarer who has detailed knowledge of a port approach or dangerous navigational area, expertise in ship manoeuvring and who uses that knowledge to ensure the safe passage of a vessel within the pilotage district.

Bristol Pilots have a pride in what they do and their part in the history of the Bristol Channel Pilots dating back to 1497. The website will host this history and tell you the story.

Welcome To The Bristol Pilots

Bristol Channel Pilots Ltd operate and manage a team of marine pilots who are responsible for the safe navigation of shipping visiting the Ports of Bristol, City of Bristol Docks and Hinkley Point.
Trelleborg Safe Pilot

Trelleborg's Safe Pilot System

Piloting requires the safest, most efficient and reliable technology. It demands exceptional performance, ease of operation and high position accuracy to facilitate optimum approach, berthing and departure.

SafePilot from Trelleborg’s marine systems operation offers the latest in navigation & piloting and port systems. SafePilot uses state-of-the-art software and smart technology to help pilots and ports optimise safety and efficiency in their day-to-day operations.


"It is an invaluable tool which provides Bristol Pilots with real-time access to relevant information, enabling fast, accurate decision-making to create a more reliable and efficient pilotage experience. The only equipment that is ever consistently familiar in an ever changing environment such as a ship's bridge is our Safe Pilot PPU System.....It is our own Assistant Pilot"

Martin Greenslade
Vice Chairman | Bristol Pilots

What Does A Bristol Pilot Do?