PILOT, mer. law. This word has two meanings. It signifies, first, an officer serving on board of a ship during the course of a voyage, and having the charge of the helm and of the ship's route; and, secondly, an officer authorized by law, who is taken on board at a particular place, for the purpose of conducting a ship through a river, road or channel, or from or into port.
2. Pilots of the second description are established by legislative enactments at the principal seaports in this country, and have rights, and are bound to perform duties, agreeably to the provisions of the several laws establishing them.
3. Pilots have been established in all maritime countries. After due trial and experience of their qualifications, they are licensed to offer themselves as guides in difficult navigation; and they are usually, on the other hand, bound to obey the call of a ship-master to exercise their functions. Abbott on Ship. 180; 1 John R. 305; 4 Dall. 205; 2 New R. 82; 5 Rob. Adm. Rep. 308; 6 Rob. Adm. R. 316; Laws of Oler. art. 23; Molloy, B. 2, c. 9, s. 3 and 7; Wesk. Ins. 395; Act of Congress of 7th August, 1789, s. 4; Merl. Repert. h. t.; Pardessus, n. 637.