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Photographer: Jeffrey W. Churill

Huron Maid

Lake Pilots Association

Home Port: Port Huron, MI

Type:  Pilot Boat

Built:  1976

Engine Type:  Diesel

Cargo Capacity:  .21 tons

Length:  46 ' - 0"

Beam: 16' - 0"

The International ships, or "SALTIES", that sail the Great Lakes have special Captains or Pilots that come aboard to sail them through key areas of the St. Lawrence Seaway. One of these areas is from the mouth of the Detroit River near Lake Erie, all the way up to the head of the St. Clair River in Port Huron. These are some of the most challenging waters in the world to navigate. These Pilots have the experience to ensure safe passage of all international ships in the seaway.

Shown here is the Pilot Boat Huron Maid picking up a Pilot near Port Huron. The Pilot Boat will run along side the freighter, matching her speed. A ladder is then dropped so the Pilot may board or un-board the vessel. With this the vessel never has to stop while on its passage. This whole process only takes a few minutes. 

 

You can see here that they don't waste any time in picking up the Pilot. The vessel is seen here just entering Lake Huron with the pilot boat along side. The lake is calm in this picture, but when Huron gets rough, it posses a real danger in trying to get a Pilot safely aboard.

 Sometimes you may see a Salty anchored out in the deeper  waters of Lake Huron near Port Huron. They are usually waiting for a Pilot to navigate the vessel back through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers.

When the vessel is underway with this flag flying, it is an indication that there is a Pilot on-board the vessel


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