History Of The Tampa Bay Pilots Association

"Leading the way on Tampa Bay"

From the earliest records of civilization, man has traveled the waters and has relied upon the expertise of pilots to assure safe passage. Pilots provide assistance to seaman approaching or leaving the seacoast, navigating harbors and when docking and undocking.

Pilots are an important aspect of the history of Tampa Bay. One of the earliest pilots, identified as Anton De Alaminos, explored both the Atlantic and Gulf Coast of Florida. He established the existence of the Gulf Stream and is credited with the discovery of Tampa Bay.

The pilots who followed played a vital role in the settling and growth of Tampa and the entire bay area. The "Tampa Bay Pilots Association", founded in 1886, originally waited for ships at the Egmont lighthouse. The height of the lighthouse allowed the pilots to see approaching ships from great distances. Later, the pilots moved their operation to the current site. For more than a century, Tampa Bay Pilots have met vessels from the pilot station on Egmont Key.

From the cradle of Tampa Bay, the profession of piloting remains relatively unchanged. Today, "The Tampa Bay Pilots" offer the same critical judgment and unsurpassed familiarity with the land, sea and the ever-changing elements as have pilots since the dawn of history. As the pilots enter into their second century of service to Tampa Bay, their commitment to excellence and dedication to service remains our top priority.

"Committed to Excellence – Dedicated to Service"