River Pilots to receive
Freedom of Liverpool
THE Liverpool Pilotage Service, which
has navigated ships in and out of the River Mersey for 250 year, has been
awarded the Freedom of Liverpool.
The organisation has been guiding vessels in and out of the river to the locks,
docks and jetties since 1766.
The service was introduced by Act of Parliament to improve safety on the Mersey
following the loss of 18 ships and 75 lives in just 1 year (1764).
It has seen many changes to the facilities on the river over the years, ranging
from the original Old Dock to the brand new Liverpool 2 container berth built to
handle the biggest vessels in the world.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Roz Gladden said:- "The Liverpool Pilotage Service is very much at the heart of Liverpool's history, ensuring the
safety of ships of all nations arriving and departing the Port.
This honour recognises the vital role it plays and the invaluable work
supporting trade and industry which is vital to the City region's economic
success. Without them, we would not be able to welcome cruise liners to the City
or have hosted the hugely successful Three Queens event last year. I am
delighted to be able to confer on them the Freedom of Liverpool in tribute to
their contribution to the maritime industry over the last 250 years."
The Freedom of Liverpool was conferred to them, at a special thanksgiving
service, at Liverpool Parish Church, on Thursday, 28 July 2016, led by the Rector of
Liverpool, the Reverend Dr Crispin Pailing.
Captain Chris Booker, Chairman of Liverpool Pilotage Services, said:- "To
be a Mersey River Pilot is a very real privilege.
From small sailing vessels to mighty container ships, bulk carriers to huge
cruise liners, Liverpool Pilots have met the challenges of the tide and the wind
on a daily basis for 250 years.
It is easy to forget that over the first two centuries a considerable number of
pilots lost their lives in the course of their duties due to the hazardous
nature of a seafarer's life.
Today's pilots have a sophisticated electronic simulator to hone their skills,
but they still have the knowledge and skill to allow them to bring ships safely
in and out of the River Mersey whatever the weather conditions may throw at
In its 250 year history there have been some 1,600 River Pilots, and today the
service is provided by 55 self employed River Pilots.
For more information about the Liverpool Pilotage Service, visit:-