SF Bar pilots run into political turbulence

Associated Press + More

By PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The annual income of the ship captains who guide the world's largest vessels through San Francisco Bay has risen from $150,000 to $451,000 since 1990.

The state Legislature is tasked with approving the salaries, and routinely gaveled home raises over the years with little push back. That's because ship owners and not taxpayers pay their salaries

Now, the mariners are running into political turbulence in Sacramento. Shipping companies, farmers and others are now successfully opposing pilot requests for raises while demanding more legislative oversight.

On Monday the Assembly transportation committee tabled a pilot-backed bill that would have required owners of ships larger than about 1,150 feet to pay the equivalent of 150 percent of the typical fee to add a second pilot to help guide the large vessel to dock.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.