CHAPTER 263*
HARBORS AND RIVERS

*See chapter 444a re harbor management commissions.

Table of Contents

Sec. 15-1. Harbor masters.
Sec. 15-2. Compensation of harbor masters.
Sec. 15-3. Powers of deputies.
Sec. 15-3a. "Harbor", "navigable waters", "navigable waterways", defined.
Sec. 15-4. Jurisdiction in Branford harbors.
Secs. 15-5 and 15-6. New Haven Harbor: Jurisdiction in; removal of vessels from channel, penalty.
Sec. 15-7. Jurisdiction, powers and duties of Bridgeport harbor master. Approval of harbor works. Appeal. Penalty.
Sec. 15-8. Power to station vessels. Penalty for resisting.
Sec. 15-8a. "Harbor", "navigable waters" and "navigable waterways", defined.
Sec. 15-9. Vessels may be removed. Procedures. Notice. Regulations. Penalty.
Sec. 15-10. Penalty for neglect of duty.
Sec. 15-11. Channels from wharves.
Sec. 15-11a. (Formerly Sec. 15-31). Disposal of old vessels and floating structures.
Sec. 15-12. Obstructions upon lands bordering navigable waters.
Sec. 15-13. Pilots; qualifications; license fee; bond; suspension or revocation of license; inactive status; limited licenses; regulations.
Sec. 15-13a. Validity of previously issued pilot's license. Transfer of records.
Sec. 15-13b. Licenses issued prior to January 1, 1972.
Sec. 15-13c. Connecticut Pilot Commission. Members. Appointments. Duties.
Sec. 15-14. Rates of pilotage.
Sec. 15-15. Vessels requiring pilots.
Sec. 15-15a. Regulations.
Sec. 15-15b. Reports by pilot.
Sec. 15-15c. Exemption from pilot requirement.
Sec. 15-15d. Pilotage concurrent with New York. Rotation system for assignment of pilots.
Sec. 15-15e. Owners or operators of certain pilot boats to obtain certificate of compliance. Penalty.
Sec. 15-16. Speed of vessels.
Sec. 15-17. Baggage on boats to be checked.
Secs. 15-18 to 15-24. Throwing refuse into harbor. Obstructions in New Haven Harbor restricted. Appeal from commissioner. Dumping in harbors. Jurisdiction of offenses. Dumping in Norwalk Harbor.
Sec. 15-25. Injuring or interfering with buoys, beacons, channel markers or navigational aids; penalties.
Sec. 15-26. Local agent of foreign vessel.
Sec. 15-26a. Five Mile River Commission. Harbor superintendent.


Sec. 15-1. Harbor masters. The Governor shall appoint a harbor master, and may appoint a deputy harbor master, for each of the harbors of New Haven, Norwich, Bridgeport, Stamford, Norwalk, Stonington, New London and Branford, and may appoint a suitable number of harbor masters and deputy harbor masters in any town in this state which has navigable waters within its limits, provided the appointment of a harbor master or deputy harbor master for the harbor of any municipality which has adopted a harbor management plan, pursuant to chapter 444a, shall be made by the Governor from a list of not less than three nominees submitted by the municipality's harbor management commission. Appointments shall be for terms of three years from July first in the year of the appointment and until a successor is appointed and qualified except the term of office of any person appointed before or after July first in any year to a newly created office of harbor master or deputy harbor master shall begin on the day of the appointment and expire on July first next succeeding the completion of the person's third full year in office. Any appointment to fill a vacancy shall be for the remainder of the term of the original appointee and until a successor is appointed and qualified. Harbor masters shall have the general care and supervision of the harbors and navigable waterways over which they have jurisdiction, subject to the direction and control of the Commissioner of Transportation, and shall be responsible to the commissioner for the safe and efficient operation of such harbors and navigable waterways in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. The harbor masters or deputy harbor masters shall exercise their duties in a manner consistent with any harbor management plan adopted pursuant to section 22a-113m for a harbor over which they have jurisdiction. The commissioner may delegate any of his powers and duties under this chapter to such harbor masters or to any existing board of harbor commissioners, but shall at all times be vested with responsibility for the overall supervision of the harbors and navigable waterways of the state.
(1949 Rev., S. 4746; June, 1955, S. 2379d; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 155; P.A. 73-486; P.A. 74-199, S. 1, 2; P.A. 77-38, S. 1, 3; P.A. 84-247, S. 11; P.A. 91-404.)
History: 1969 act added provisions setting forth duties of commissioner of transportation and clarifying relationship between harbor masters and commissioner; P.A. 73-486 rewrote appointment provisions and included procedure for filling vacancies; P.A. 74-199 rewrote and clarified provisions re appointments and vacancies; P.A. 77-38 included navigable waterways in responsibilities of harbor masters and commissioner; P.A. 84-247 added provision requiring the harbor masters or their deputies to exercise their duties in a manner consistent with a harbor management plan; P.A. 91-404 added provision re appointment of certain harbor masters by the governor from a list submitted by a harbor management commission, deleting obsolete provision re persons appointed before October 1, 1973.

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Sec. 15-2. Compensation of harbor masters. Harbor masters shall receive a salary to be determined by the Commissioner of Administrative Services, subject to the provisions of section 4-40 and shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
(1949 Rev., S. 3634; 1969, P.A. 760, S. 2; P.A. 77-614, S. 122, 610.)
History: 1969 act replaced provision granting harbor masters payment of three dollars per day plus recovered fees with general provision re salary and reimbursement for expenses; P.A. 77-614 replaced personnel policy board with commissioner of administrative services and made salaries subject to provisions of Sec. 4-40.

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Sec. 15-3. Powers of deputies. Deputy harbor masters shall have all the powers and perform all the duties of harbor masters in the respective harbors for which they are appointed, subject to the control and direction of the harbor masters.
(1949 Rev., S. 4750.)

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Sec. 15-3a. "Harbor", "navigable waters", "navigable waterways", defined. For the purposes of this chapter:
(a) "Harbor" means a place on navigable waters, as defined by this section, where water-borne commercial or recreational traffic enters for the purpose of anchorage or docking or the unloading or receiving of cargo, supplies, equipment, fuel or passengers;
(b) "Navigable waters" means waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide shoreward to their mean high-water mark;
(c) "Navigable waterways" means waters which are physically capable of supporting water-borne traffic, and subject to the ebb and flow of the tide.
(P.A. 77-38, S. 2, 3.)

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Sec. 15-4. Jurisdiction in Branford harbors. The jurisdiction of the harbor masters for the harbors of Branford shall include the harbor of Branford and Branford River as far up said river as Hobart's Bridge, so called, the harbor of Stony Creek and the waters between and adjoining the adjacent islands known as the Thimble Islands.
(1949 Rev., S. 4747.)

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Secs. 15-5 and 15-6. New Haven Harbor: Jurisdiction in; removal of vessels from channel, penalty. Sections 15-5 and 15-6 are repealed.
(1949 Rev., S. 4753, 4754; P.A. 73-307.)

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Sec. 15-7. Jurisdiction, powers and duties of Bridgeport harbor master. Approval of harbor works. Appeal. Penalty. (a) The harbor master shall have the general care and supervision of Bridgeport harbor and its tidewaters and its rivers and of all the flats and lands flowed thereby, and all other tidewaters, flats and rivers which are within the city limits of said city but are not adjacent to said harbor in order to limit, prevent and abate sources of water pollution, to prevent or remove any unauthorized encroachment and other obstruction which is likely to interfere with the full navigation of said harbor, or in any way injure its channels or cause any reduction in its tidewaters, or prevent, abate or remove any unauthorized landfills upon or affecting the tidewaters located within the city limits of Bridgeport. The harbor master shall exercise his responsibility in a manner consistent with any harbor management plan for the Bridgeport harbor adopted pursuant to section 22a-113m.
(b) Each person who contemplates the building over said harbor and tidewaters of any bridge, wharf, pier dam or bulkheads, or the dredging or filling in of any flats or tidewaters, or the driving or placement of any piles, dolphins or bumpers below high- water mark shall, before beginning such work, give written notice upon forms provided by said master of his intention to do such work to the Commissioner of Transportation and to said harbor master and shall submit plans or drawings of any proposed wharf or any other structure, and of the flats to be dredged or filled, and of the mode in which the work is to be performed; and no such work shall be commenced until the plan or drawing and the mode of performing the same is approved in writing by the commissioner. The commissioner may reject or alter such plans at his discretion and prescribe the direction, limits and mode of building of the wharf and other structures, and all such works shall be executed under the supervision of the commissioner and the harbor master.
(c) Any erection made or work done in any manner not sanctioned by said commissioner, when his direction is required as hereinbefore provided, shall be deemed a public nuisance. Said commissioner may order suits in the name of the city and prevent or stop or abate, by injunction or otherwise, any such erection or other nuisance and such suits shall be conducted by and at the expense of the city of Bridgeport.
(d) Any person aggrieved by any action taken or order issued by said commissioner under authority of this section may within thirty days appeal to the superior court for the judicial district of Fairfield and said court shall take such action in the premises as equity may require.
(e) Any person who violates or assists in violating any of the provisions of subsection (b) or any direction or order of the commissioner made pursuant thereto shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days or both.
(1949 Rev., S. 4748; 1969, P.A. 482; 768, S. 156; P.A. 76-436, S. 415, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 7, 127; P.A. 84-247, S. 12.)
History: 1969 acts amended Subsec. (a) to give harbor master jurisdiction over rivers and over all other waterways in city limits but not adjacent to harbor to control water pollution and authorized him to take action re unauthorized land fills, clarified Subsec. (b) and added references to bulkheads, dredging, dolphins and bumpers, removed phrase "within the tidewaters flowing into or through said harbor" in Subsec. (c) thereby extending harbor master's authority, placed thirty- day limit on appeals in Subsec. (d), increased fine from two hundred to one thousand dollars and imprisonment from sixty to ninety days in Subsec. (e) and replaced "harbor master" with "commissioner" throughout section except that notice required to be given to both and supervision of works to be by both; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court in Subsec. (d), effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 replaced county of Fairfield with judicial district of Fairfield in Subsec. (d); P.A. 84-247 amended Subsec. (a) by requiring the harbor master to exercise his responsibility consistent with the harbor management plan.
Cited. 146 C. 619.

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Sec. 15-8. Power to station vessels. Penalty for resisting. Each harbor master may station all vessels riding at anchor in the harbor and navigable waterways under his care, and all vessels or obstructions so moored or anchored that, by the action of wind or tide, they may be carried into such harbor and navigable waterways while so moored or anchored, and he may remove, from time to time, such vessels within such harbor and navigable waterways, or such vessels or obstructions so moored or anchored, as are not employed in receiving or discharging their cargoes, to make room for the passage of other vessels up or down such harbor and navigable waterways. He shall be the sole judge of whether any vessel so at anchor is so in the harbor or navigable waterways as to obstruct or hinder the passage of any other vessel, or whether such vessel or obstruction is so moored or anchored that it may, by the action of the wind or tide, obstruct or hinder the passage of any other vessel within such harbor or navigable waterways; and may determine how far within such harbor, and in what instances, masters or others having charge of vessels at anchor within such harbor or navigable waterways shall remove the same; and, upon the application of the owner or lessee of any wharf, dock or pier in such harbor or navigable waterways, shall station any vessel lying at or adjacent to such wharf, dock or pier, or remove it therefrom to make room for the dockage or passage of any other vessel, when, in the judgment of such harbor master, the interest and convenience of commerce or navigation or public access require; and may exercise all the powers and duties with reference to such vessels which he might exercise with reference to vessels at anchor in such harbor and navigable waterways. Any person who obstructs, resists or wilfully refuses to obey the order of any harbor master or deputy harbor master in the execution of the duties of his office shall forfeit two hundred fifty dollars, to be recovered, with costs, in the name of such harbor master or deputy harbor master, in which action such vessel may be attached as in other actions; and all forfeitures, after deducting the necessary expenses of enforcing the same, to be determined by the court rendering judgment therefor, when collected, shall be paid to the General Fund.
(1945, S.A. 95; 1949 Rev., S. 4749; 1969, P.A. 760, S. 1; P.A. 77-71, S. 1, 3.)
History: 1969 act substituted "navigable waters" for "channel" and required forfeitures to be paid into general fund rather than to the Yale-New Haven Hospital; P.A. 77-71 substituted "harbor and navigable waterways" for "navigable waters" or "harbor", added reference to interest of public access and increased forfeit from fifty to two hundred fifty dollars.

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Sec. 15-8a. "Harbor", "navigable waters" and "navigable waterways", defined. For the purposes of section 15-8:
(a) "Harbor" means a place on navigable waters where water-borne commercial or recreational traffic enters for the purpose of anchorage or docking or the unloading or receiving of cargo, supplies, equipment, fuel or passengers;
(b) "Navigable waters" means waters which are subject to the ebb and flow of the tide shoreward to their mean high-water mark;
(c) "Navigable waterways" means waters which are physically capable of supporting water-borne traffic, and subject to the ebb and flow of the tide.
(P.A. 77-71, S. 2, 3.)

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Sec. 15-9. Vessels may be removed. Procedures. Notice. Regulations. Penalty. (a) When the master or owner of any vessel lying within the navigable waters of this state, or the person having the same in charge, wilfully neglects or refuses to obey the order of any harbor master performing his duties under the provisions of this chapter, such harbor master may cause such vessel to be removed at the expense of the owner. Any such master, owner or person in violation of this section shall be deemed to have committed an infraction and shall be fined eighty-five dollars.
(b) A harbor master may notify any officer attached to an organized police department or any state police officer that a master or owner of a vessel is in violation of the provisions of subsection (a) of this section. Any such officer may remove and take such vessel into custody and shall give written notice by certified mail to the owner or master of such vessel, if known, which notice shall state (1) that the vessel has been taken into custody and stored, (2) the location of storage of the vessel, (3) that such vessel may be sold after fifteen days if the market value of such vessel does not exceed five hundred dollars or after ninety days if the value of such vessel exceeds five hundred dollars, and (4) that the owner has a right to contest the validity of such taking by application, on a form prescribed by the Commissioner of Transportation, to the hearing officer named in such notice within ten days from the date of such notice. Such application forms shall be made readily available to the public at all offices of the Department of Transportation and at all state and local police departments.
(c) The chief executive officer of each town may appoint a suitable person, who shall not be a member of any state or local police department, to be a hearing officer to hear applications to determine whether or not the taking was authorized under the provisions of this section. Two or more towns may join in appointing such officer; provided any such hearing shall be held at a location which is as near to the town where such vessel was located as is reasonable and practicable. The commissioner shall establish by regulation the qualifications necessary for hearing officers and procedures for the holding of such hearings. If it is determined at such hearing that the owner or master was in violation of subsection (a) of this section, the owner or master of such vessel shall be liable for any expenses incurred as a result of such removal, or the costs and expenses incident to such removal, including legal expenses and court costs incurred in such recovery. If it is determined at such hearing that the owner or master was not in violation of subsection (a) of this section, the owner or master of such vessel shall not be liable for any expenses incurred as a result of such removal or for the costs and expenses incident to such removal, including legal expenses and court costs incurred in such recovery. Any person aggrieved by the decision of such hearing officer may, within fifteen days of the notice of such decision, appeal to the superior court for the judicial district wherein such hearing was held.
(d) The state or local police department which has custody of the removed vessel shall have the power to sell such vessel at public auction in accordance with the provisions of this section. The state or local police department shall apply the avails of such sale toward the payment of its charges, any storage charges and the payment of any debt or obligation incurred by the officer who placed the same in storage. Such sale shall be advertised in a newspaper published or having a circulation in the town where such vessel is stored or other place is located three times, commencing at least five days before such sale; and, if the last place of abode of the owner of such vessel is known to or may be ascertained by the state or local police by the exercise of reasonable diligence, notice of the time and place of sale shall be given him by mailing such notice to him in a registered or certified letter, postage paid, at such last usual place of abode, at least five days before the time of sale. The state or local police department shall report the sales price, storing and towing charges, if any; buyer's name and address; identification of the vessel and such other information as may be required in regulations which shall be adopted by the Commissioner of Transportation in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to the commissioner within fifteen days after the sale of the vessel. The proceeds of such sale, after deducting the amount due for any storage and all expenses connected with such sale, including the expenses of the officer who placed such vessel in storage, shall be paid to the owner of such vessel or his legal representatives, if claimed by him or them at any time within one year from the date of such sale. If such balance is not claimed within said period, it shall escheat to the municipality from which the vessel was removed. If the expenses incurred by the municipality for such removal and towing and the sale of such vessel and any fines exceed the proceeds of such sale, the owner of the vessel shall be liable for such excess amount. A vessel may not be sold in accordance with the provisions of this section until: (1) The expiration of the time period under subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of this section and (2) a final decision has been rendered in connection with an application filed pursuant to subdivision (4) of subdivision (b) of this section.
(e) The Commissioner of Transportation shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of this section.
(1949 Rev., S. 4751; P.A. 92-244.)
History: P.A. 92-244 amended Subsec. (a) and added Subsecs. (b) to (e), inclusive, re procedure and notice for the removal of vessels and re adoption of regulations.

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Sec. 15-10. Penalty for neglect of duty. When any harbor master neglects, upon application of any person engaged in the navigation of the harbor under his charge, to remove or cause to be removed any vessel riding at anchor therein and obstructing its channel, he shall pay to such person twenty dollars, with costs, to be recovered in an action on his official bond or on this section.
(1949 Rev., S. 4752.)

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Sec. 15-11. Channels from wharves. Section 15-11 is repealed.
(1949 Rev., S. 4755; P.A. 75-218, S. 1, 2.)

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Sec. 15-11a. (Formerly Sec. 15-31). Disposal of old vessels and floating structures. (a) Any owner, agent or operator of any vessel, scow, lighter or similar floating structure lying within the limits of any river or harbor who causes or permits the same to be broken or altered to such an extent that it will not keep afloat with ordinary care, or grounds such craft or leaves any part thereof in any river or harbor, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both and the Commissioner of Transportation may cause such vessel, scow, lighter or similar floating structure to be removed at the expense of such owner, agent or operator and may recover the expense of such removal, together with the costs and expenses incident to such removal, including legal expenses and court costs incurred in such recovery, from the owner, agent or operator of such vessel in an action founded upon this section. After consultation with the Commissioner of Transportation, the Commissioner of Environmental Protection may consider any such sunken or grounded vessel, scow, lighter or similar structure to be an encroachment subject to the provisions of sections 22a-359 to 22a-363, inclusive.
(b) The Commissioner of Transportation may require the owner, agent or operator to furnish a performance bond in an amount sufficient to cover the estimated costs of removal as determined by the commissioner.
(1949 Rev., S. 4779; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 160; P.A. 75-288, S. 1, 2; P.A. 76-277; P.A. 82-191, S. 1; P.A. 98-182, S. 15, 22.)
History: 1969 act replaced commissioners of steamship terminals with commissioner of transportation; P.A. 75-288 included agents and operators in provisions; P.A. 76-277 added provisions re removal of vessels, scows, lighters etc. and added Subsec. (b) re permit fees and performance bonds; Sec. 15-31 transferred to Sec. 15-11a in 1979; P.A. 82-191 amended Subsec. (a) to authorize the commissioner of environmental protection, upon consultation with the commissioner of transportation, to consider vessels or similar floating structures to be an encroachment requiring a permit; P.A. 98-182 deleted the requirement for an owner, agent or operator to obtain a permit, effective July 1, 1998.

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Sec. 15-12. Obstructions upon lands bordering navigable waters. The selectmen of any town bordering upon navigable waters shall cause to be removed all obstructions and structures from the shores, beaches or other land in such town, adjacent to such waters, to which shores, beaches or other land the public has the right of access or which the public has been accustomed to use, occupy or enjoy, unless such obstruction or structure has been erected or maintained by, or by the express or implied permission of, the person having title to the land on which it has been so erected or maintained or having a legal right to erect and maintain it thereon; and such selectmen may, in the name of the town, have equitable relief by way of injunction against any person who, without legal right, interferes with the use and enjoyment of such shores, beaches and lands by the public or attempts to exercise any exclusive possession or use of any part thereof.
(1949 Rev., S. 4756.)

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Sec. 15-13. Pilots; qualifications; license fee; bond; suspension or revocation of license; inactive status; limited licenses; regulations. (a) The Commissioner of Transportation shall license as many residents of this state and any other state as said commissioner deems necessary and finds qualified to act as pilots for one year in any of the ports and waters of this state including the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound. A license shall be denied to any person holding a license or authority under the laws of any other state which does not issue a license or authority to pilots licensed by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall be so licensed unless he possesses a federal masters license and has procured a federal first class pilot's license of unlimited tonnage issued by the United States Coast Guard covering the sections of the waters of this state for which application is being made to said commissioner. Each applicant for a license to act as a pilot for any port or waterway of the state including the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound shall document that he has made the following passages on ocean-going vessels of not less than four thousand gross tons, through the port or waterway for which application is being made during the thirty-six months immediately preceding his application: (1) Twelve round trips on American vessels under enrollment as pilot of record, on which the applicant is not a crew member; or (2) twenty-four round trips as observing pilot on foreign or registered vessels during which the applicant does the piloting work under the supervision and authority of a pilot licensed by this state, provided the applicant possesses a first class pilot's license issued by the United States Coast Guard for the port or waterway; or (3) any combination of the above requirements for trips, substituting two observer trips for each trip as pilot of record.
(b) Each pilot shall, upon the granting of his license, pay a fee of thirty dollars to said commissioner and shall give a bond of one thousand dollars to the State Treasurer and his successors in office, with surety, to the acceptance of the commissioner, conditioned for the faithful performance of his duties as a pilot, upon which bond suit may be brought in the name of said Treasurer for the benefit of any person who may suffer loss or damage, by reason of the ignorance, neglect or misconduct of such pilot in the discharge of his duties. The commissioner shall increase such fee by fifty per cent July 1, 1985, by an additional fifty per cent effective July 1, 1989, by an additional twenty- five per cent effective July 1, 1991, and by an additional twenty-five per cent effective July 1, 1993.
(c) Each license shall expire on the last day of December following its issuance and may be renewed upon application and payment of the fee required by subsection (b) of this section, renewal of the bond required under subsection (b) and proof of current federal licensure as required in subsection (a).
(d) The Commissioner of Transportation shall keep a record of each license and, if requested, shall furnish a certificate of such license.
(e) Said commissioner may suspend or revoke any pilot's license for (1) incompetence, (2) neglect of duty, (3) misconduct or (4) using a vessel owned or operated by a person who has not obtained a certificate of compliance under the provisions of section 15-15e for the purpose of embarking or disembarking another vessel in open and unprotected waters. Any person aggrieved by the action of said commissioner under the provisions of this subsection may appeal therefrom in accordance with the provisions of section 4-183.
(f) Any pilot who has been away from duty for a period of not less than six months, or who has not completed a passage through any port or waterway for which he is licensed during such period, shall be placed on inactive status. Said pilot shall complete at least one round trip over the port or waterway for which he is licensed before resuming his duties as a pilot. The refresher passages shall be made in the company of an active pilot licensed by the state. Said pilot, before resuming his pilotage duties, shall submit to the commissioner a list of completed refresher passages, including the name, gross tons and draft of each vessel involved, a description and date of each passage and the name of the attending pilot.
(g) The commissioner may issue limited licenses pursuant to this section. Such licenses may be limited according to a pilot's qualifications for operating a vessel, which shall include, but not be limited to, the type, size, gross tonnage or draft of a vessel.
(h) The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the purposes of this section.
(1949 Rev., S. 4757; 1955, S. 2380d; 1967, P.A. 258; 1969, P.A. 815, S. 1; 1971, P.A. 797, S. 1; 872, S. 370; 1972, P.A. 48, S. 1; P.A. 73-405, S. 1; P.A. 76-436, S. 350, 681; P.A. 77-337, S. 2; 77-603, S. 30, 125; P.A. 85-413, S. 5, 8; P.A. 87-147; P.A. 90-274, S. 1; P.A. 92-178, S. 2, 3; P.A. 93-307, S. 33, 34; P.A. 94-188, S. 18, 30; P.A. 97-304, S. 19.)
History: 1967 act raised license fee in Subsec. (c) from fifteen to thirty dollars; 1969 act transferred duties of court and/ or judge to boating commission, deleted provision re payment of entry fee in Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (e) re suspension or revocation of license; 1971 acts amended Subsec. (a) to make licenses valid for one year rather than three years, to add reference to ports and to delete provision re notice of intention to apply for license and filing of qualifications, amended Subsec. (b) to include references to "port", "pilot" and "undock", inserted new Subsec. (d) re expiration and renewal of licenses and relettered former Subsecs. (d) and (e) as (e) and (f) and substituted commissioner of environmental protection for boating commission; 1972 act deleted Subsec. (b) re qualifications and relettered remaining subsections accordingly; P.A. 73-405 replaced commissioner of environmental protection with commissioner of transportation; P.A. 76-436 replaced court of common pleas with superior court and added reference to judicial districts in Subsec. (e), effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-337 substituted "shall" for "may" and included residents of other states in Subsec. (a) and added provision re license to operate canal boat, barge or tug boat; P.A. 77-603 replaced previous appeal provision in Subsec. (e) with requirement that appeals to be made in accordance with Sec. 4-183; P.A. 85-413 inserted fee increases effective on and after July 1, 1985; P.A. 87-147 specifically required an applicant for a pilot's license to procure a federal first class pilot's license of unlimited tonnage issued by the United States Coast Guard, required documentation of a minimum number of passages and added Subsec. (f), providing for inactive status; P.A. 90-274 added provision in Subsec. (a) requiring pilots to possess a federal masters license and clarified that the waters of the state include the waters of Long Island Sound, increased amount of bond in Subsec. (b) from five hundred to one thousand dollars, added provision in Subsec. (f) that an inactive pilot must complete refresher passages, and added new Subsec. (g) allowing the commissioner to issue limited pilot licenses and a new Subsec. (h) requiring the commissioner to adopt regulations; P.A. 92-178 amended Subsec. (a) re reciprocity with other states concerning the issuance of pilot's licenses, effective October 1, 1993; P.A. 93-307 changed effective date of Sec. 2 of P.A. 92-78 from October 1, 1993, to October 1, 1994, effective June 29, 1993; P.A. 94-188 changed effective date of Sec. 2 of P.A. 92-178 from October 1, 1994, to October 1, 1995; P.A. 97-304 amended Subsec. (e) to add Subdiv. designators before the grounds for suspension or revocation of license and added new ground in Subdiv. (4) for using a vessel owned or operated by a person who has not obtained a certificate of compliance under provisions of Sec. 15-15e for purpose of embarking or disembarking another vessel in open and unprotected waters.

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Sec. 15-13a. Validity of previously issued pilot's license. Transfer of records. Any pilot's license issued by the Superior Court or any judge thereof and in effect on October 1, 1969, shall continue in effect for the balance of the period for which issued. The clerk of the superior court in each county shall transfer to the Commissioner of Environmental Protection records maintained by such clerk under the provisions of section 15-13 prior to October 1, 1969.
(1969, P.A. 815, S. 3; P.A. 76-435, S. 36, 82.)
History: P.A. 76-435 replaced boating commission with commissioner of environmental protection in accordance with provisions of 1971, P.A. 872, S. 370.

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Sec. 15-13b. Licenses issued prior to January 1, 1972. Any pilot's license issued prior to January 1, 1972, shall continue to be in effect for the balance of the period issued or until January 1, 1973, whichever is earlier.
(1971, P.A. 797, S. 6.)

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Sec. 15-13c. Connecticut Pilot Commission. Members. Appointments. Duties. (a) There is created within the Department of Transportation, for administrative purposes only, the Connecticut Pilot Commission to advise the Commissioner of Transportation on matters relating to the licensure of pilots, the safe conduct of vessels and the protection of the ports and waters of the state, including the waters of Long Island Sound.
(b) The commission shall consist of seven members appointed as follows: The Governor shall appoint one member representing a maritime-related industry, which industry shall not include a recreational industry; the president pro tempore of the Senate shall appoint one member representing the public with an interest in the environment; the majority leader of the Senate shall appoint one member representing the public with an interest in the environment; the minority leader of the Senate shall appoint one member who shall be a retired ship's master or captain; the speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint one member representing a maritime-related industry, which industry shall not include a recreational industry; the majority leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint one member representing a maritime-related industry, which industry shall not include a recreational industry; the minority leader of the House of Representatives shall appoint one member with an expertise in the area of admiralty law. Each member shall be a resident of the state, provided no member shall be an active licensed pilot. Members shall be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
(c) On or before July 1, 1992, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (b) of this section (1) the Governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the majority leader of the Senate shall each appoint one member who shall serve until July 1, 1996; (2) the president pro tempore of the Senate, the majority leader of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the House of Representatives shall each appoint one member who shall serve until July 1, 1995; and (3) the minority leader of the Senate shall appoint one member who shall serve until July 1, 1994. Thereafter, members shall serve for a term of four years and any vacancies on the commission shall be filled for the remainder of the term in the same manner as the original appointment.
(d) The Governor shall appoint the chairperson of the commission who shall not be an employee of the Department of Transportation. The commission shall elect a vice- chairperson and any other officers that it deems necessary from among its membership. The powers of the commission shall be vested in and exercised by not less than three members serving on the commission. This number shall constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of three members present at a meeting of the commission shall be necessary for any action taken by the commission.
(e) The commission shall advise the commissioner on the following matters: (1) The required qualifications of pilots for eligibility for licensure, including background, training, length of service and apprenticeship; (2) examination requirements for obtaining a pilot's or other type of operating license; (3) the appropriate number of state- licensed pilots necessary for the safe, efficient and proper operations in the ports and waters of the state, including the waters of Long Island Sound; (4) the establishment of fair and reasonable rates of pilotage, pursuant to section 15-14, including establishment of a hearing process for the setting of fair and reasonable rates of pilotage and licensure fees; (5) the policy of the state on the establishment of a rotation system for the assignment of pilots; (6) the policy of the state on the issuance of reciprocal licenses to pilots licensed in other states; (7) the enhancement of safety and protection of the marine environment during the operation of vessels and the prevention of oil spills and other marine incidents; (8) the proper equipment required on a vessel and the operation of vessels used by pilots for embarkation and disembarkation; (9) the designation of pilot boarding stations; (10) the proper safety equipment provided by vessels to enable pilots to safely board vessels; (11) the state's policy relative to matters of interstate pilotage and (12) any other matter requested by the commissioner.
(f) The commission shall, at the request of the commissioner: (1) Assist in the preparation of examinations for pilot licensure and other operating certificates; (2) evaluate the examination results of applicants for a pilot license and make appropriate recommendations concerning such applicants' qualifications; (3) assist in the review and monitoring of the performance of pilots; (4) review applications for reciprocal licensure and make appropriate recommendations concerning such pilot's qualifications; (5) recommend the duties of pilots for the reporting of faulty pilot boarding and disembarkation systems and of violations of any state laws; (6) review and investigate any marine incident or casualty and conduct hearings to determine the causes of any such incident; (7) make recommendations on disciplinary measures, including such measurers as letters of caution, admonition or reprimand and licensure suspension or forfeiture, including disciplinary matters relative to alcohol or drug abuse; (8) retain an independent investigator to compile a comprehensive factual record of any marine incident or casualty; (9) assist in the review of complaints filed with the commissioner; and (10) assist in the preparation of any report or matter relative to pilotage.
(P.A. 92-178, S. 1, 3; P.A. 94-188, S. 18, 30.)
History: P.A. 94-188 revised effective date of P.A. 92-178 but without affecting this section.
See Sec. 4-38f for definition of "administrative purposes only".

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Sec. 15-14. Rates of pilotage. The Commissioner of Transportation shall establish the rates of pilotage for all vessels which use a licensed pilot in the ports and waters of this state including the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound.
(1949 Rev., S. 4758; 1969, P.A. 815, S. 2; 1971, P.A. 797, S. 3; 872, S. 370; P.A. 73-405, S. 2; P.A. 84-254, S. 57, 62; P.A. 85-413, S. 6, 8; P.A. 90-274, S. 2.)
History: 1969 act replaced superior court with boating commission and deleted provisions specifically applicable to Middlesex and New Haven superior courts; 1971 acts clarified provisions and replaced boating commission with commissioner of environmental protection; P.A. 73-405 replaced commissioner of environmental protection with commissioner of transportation; P.A. 84-254 increased the rates of pilotage, effective July 1, 1984, by 50% on July 1, 1986, by an additional 50% on July 1, 1989, by an additional 25% on July 1, 1991 and by an additional 25% on July 1, 1993; P.A. 85-413 removed language concerning rate increases inserted in 1984; P.A. 90-274 clarified that the waters of the state include the waters of Long Island Sound.

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Sec. 15-15. Vessels requiring pilots. (a) Each foreign and American vessel under register, entering or departing from any port in this state and each vessel transiting the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound shall take a pilot who is licensed under the provisions of section 15-13, or licensed under the laws of any state having concurrent jurisdiction over Long Island Sound. Whenever the services of such a pilot are refused, the master, the owner or the consignee shall pay pilotage as if such pilot had actually been employed. The pilotage authorized to be collected whenever a pilot shall be refused by a vessel may be sued for and recovered in the name of the pilot tendering such service. Such pilotage when recovered, shall belong to and may be retained by such pilot for his own use and benefit.
(b) No person not licensed as a pilot under the provisions of section 15-13 or of the laws of any other state having concurrent jurisdiction over Long Island Sound shall pilot, or offer to pilot any foreign vessel, or any American vessel sailing under register, to or from any port in this state, including any such vessels transiting the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound. No master or person on board any tug or towboat shall tow such a vessel to or from any port in this state including any such vessels transiting the Connecticut waters of Long Island Sound, unless such vessel has on board a pilot licensed under the provisions of section 15-13 or licensed under the laws of any other state having concurrent jurisdiction over Long Island Sound.
(c) Any person or any officer or agent of any firm or corporation who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars, or be imprisoned not more than sixty days, or be both fined and imprisoned.
(1949 Rev., S. 4759; 1953, S. 2381d; 1971, P.A. 797, S. 2; P.A. 77-337, S. 1; P.A. 90-274, S. 3.)
History: 1971 act amended Subsec. (a) to delete phrase limiting exemption for vessel engaged in coastal trade to those "coming by way of New York"; P.A. 77-337 replaced "vessels engaged in the coastal trade, fishing smacks, vessels engaged in the oyster trade, canal boats, barges and tug boats" with "vessels engaged in fishing, oyster and commercial recreational trade" and increased minimum fine from two hundred fifty to five hundred dollars and maximum fine from five hundred to one thousand dollars in Subsec. (c); P.A. 90-274 in Subsec. (a) deleted language relating to inward and outward vessels and added language relating to each foreign and American vessel, added provision that the section applies to vessels transiting the waters of Long Island Sound, deleted language exempting fishing, oyster and commercial recreational trade vessels from the section and made various technical changes, in Subsec. (b) allowed pilots to be licensed by a state with concurrent jurisdiction over the waters of Long Island Sound and made various technical changes.

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Sec. 15-15a. Regulations. The Commissioner of Transportation shall promulgate such regulations respecting the conduct and duties of licensed pilots and the piloting, docking and undocking of vessels, as he deems necessary for the protection of property, public safety and the effective administration of sections 15-13, 15-14, 15-15 and 15- 15b.
(1971, P.A. 797, S. 4; 872, S. 370; P.A. 73-405, S. 3; P.A. 90-274, S. 5.)
History: Later 1971 act replaced boating commission with commissioner of environmental protection; P.A. 73-405 replaced commissioner of environmental protection with commissioner of transportation; P.A. 90-274 added reference to Sec. 15-15 to the provisions of the section.
See chapter 54 re uniform administrative procedure.

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Sec. 15-15b. Reports by pilot. Once every three months, each licensed pilot shall render to the Commissioner of Transportation an accurate account of all vessels piloted by him. Any pilot who makes a false return shall be subject to suspension or revocation of his license as provided in section 15-13.
(1971, P.A. 797, S. 5; 872, S. 370; P.A. 73-405, S. 4.)
History: Later 1971 act replaced boating commission with commissioner of environmental protection; P.A. 73-405 replaced commissioner of environmental protection with commissioner of transportation.

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Sec. 15-15c. Exemption from pilot requirement. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to (1) vessels navigating under a certificate of enrollment under the control of a federally licensed pilot, (2) American vessels engaged in fishing, or (3) vessels otherwise exempt by the laws of the United States.
(P.A. 90-274, S. 4.)

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Sec. 15-15d. Pilotage concurrent with New York. Rotation system for assignment of pilots. (a) Pilotage on Long Island Sound shall be concurrent with the state of New York.
(b) The Commissioner of Transportation may execute an agreement with the pilot commission of any other state for the establishment of a rotation system for the assignment of pilots for the conduct of vessels in the ports and waters of the state, including the waters of Long Island Sound.
(P.A. 90-274, S. 6; P.A. 97-304, S. 20, 31.)
History: P.A. 97-304 divided section into two Subsecs., adding as Subsec. (b) a provision allowing Commissioner to execute an agreement with pilot commission of any other state for establishment of a rotation system for assignment of pilots, effective July 8, 1997.

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Sec. 15-15e. Owners or operators of certain pilot boats to obtain certificate of compliance. Penalty. (a) On and after October 1, 1997, no owner or operator of a vessel may transport or offer to transport a pilot licensed under the provisions of section 15- 13 for the purpose of embarking or disembarking another vessel in open and unprotected waters unless such owner or operator has obtained a certificate of compliance from the Commissioner of Transportation. On and after October 1, 1997, the Commissioner of Transportation shall issue a certificate of compliance to each owner or operator of a vessel used to transport a licensed pilot for the purpose of embarking or disembarking another vessel in open and unprotected waters who complies with the requirements specified in regulations which shall be adopted by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54. The regulations shall specify (1) standards and procedures for the issuance and renewal of such certificate; (2) grounds for the suspension of such certificate; (3) requirements relative to the inspection of such vessels, including the designation and qualifications of inspectors of such vessels and the maintenance and inspection of logs in each such vessel; (4) the procedures for embarkation and disembarkation of pilots; and (5) the operation of and equipment required on each such vessel. Such regulations may establish standard rates for the use of each such vessel for such purpose. For the purposes of this subsection, "open and unprotected waters" means waters located east of the area depicted on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration charts of the eastern portion of Long Island Sound as "The Race".
(b) Any person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section or any regulation adopted thereunder shall be fined not less than sixty dollars nor more than two hundred fifty dollars for each such violation.
(P.A. 97-304, S. 2, 31.)
History: P.A. 97-304 effective July 8, 1997.

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Sec. 15-16. Speed of vessels. If any vessel, wholly or partly propelled by power, moves at a greater rate of speed than six miles per hour, when approaching or passing, and while within two hundred feet of, any wharf, pier or dock in the city of Hartford between the Bulkeley Bridge over the Connecticut River and the southern limits of said city, or Long Wharf and pier in New Haven Harbor, when any vessel is lying thereat at any berth below the north end of the platform on the east side of the wharf, or the wharf or pier in Bridgeport Harbor known as Mather's Dock, or any wharf, pier or marine railway in Norwalk Harbor, or any wharf in the city of Middletown, or any dock, pier or wharf in the city of New London or in New London Harbor, or in the city of Norwich, or between the cities of New London and Norwich, or on the Eight Mile River in Lyme between the northerly end of the channel at Hamburg Village and the southerly end at the Connecticut River, or any wharf on either side of Mystic River between its mouth at Noank beacon and the most northerly channel buoy north of the Marine Historical Association, or while passing between Branford Point Dock and Sybil's Creek, so called, in the Branford River, the person in command of any such vessel shall forfeit one hundred dollars to the state, and shall also be liable to pay threefold damages to any person whose property is injured in consequence of the violation of the provisions of this section.
(1949 Rev., S. 4760; 1957, P.A. 286, S. 1; 432; 1961, P.A. 517, S. 16.)
History: 1961 act provided for payment of forfeiture to state rather than county, county government having been abolished.

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Sec. 15-17. Baggage on boats to be checked. When any passenger is separated from his baggage, pursuant to the regulations of any steamboat company or the orders of the captain of any boat, such company or captain, at the time of such separation, shall give such passenger a check for his baggage and, for any neglect to do so, shall pay him ten dollars.
(1949 Rev., S. 4761.)
See Secs. 53a-115 to 53a-117, inclusive, re criminal mischief penalties.

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Secs. 15-18 to 15-24. Throwing refuse into harbor. Obstructions in New Haven Harbor restricted. Appeal from commissioner. Dumping in harbors. Jurisdiction of offenses. Dumping in Norwalk Harbor. Sections 15-18 to 15-24, inclusive, are repealed.
(1949 Rev., S. 4762−4768; 1959, P.A. 28, S. 51, 204; 1961, P.A. 417; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 157, 158; 1972, P.A. 124; P.A. 75-218, S. 1, 2.)

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Sec. 15-25. Injuring or interfering with buoys, beacons, channel markers or navigational aids; penalties. Any person who removes, damages or destroys any buoy, beacon, channel marker or floating guide placed in the waters of this state by authority of the Commissioner of Transportation or the harbor master of any harbor, or moors or in any manner attaches any boat, vessel or raft of any kind to such buoy, beacon, channel marker or floating guide, unless his life, or the safety of the vessel in which he is, is endangered, or cuts down, removes, damages or destroys any beacon or navigational aid erected on land in this state, shall be fined not less than two hundred fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not more than sixty days or both.
(1949 Rev., S. 4769; 1969, P.A. 768, S. 159; P.A. 77-123.)
History: 1969 act added reference to commissioner of transportation and deleted phrase "of this state" modifying "harbor master"; P.A. 77-123 deleted reference to U.S. lighthouse board, added references to channel markers and navigational aids, imposed minimum fine of two hundred fifty dollars and raised maximum fine from two hundred to five hundred dollars and added provision for imposition of prison term or both fine and imprisonment.

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Sec. 15-26. Local agent of foreign vessel. Section 15-26 is repealed, effective October 1, 1999.
(1957, P.A. 621, S. 1; P.A. 77-322; P.A. 99-181, S. 39.)

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Sec. 15-26a. Five Mile River Commission. Harbor superintendent. (a) There shall be a Five Mile River Commission consisting of two electors from each of the towns of Norwalk and Darien. Each such member shall be appointed by the Governor from a list of nominees to be submitted by the legislative body of each such town or by the board of selectmen in the case of a town in which the legislative body is a town meeting. Members shall serve for a term of four years from the date of his appointment and until his successor has been appointed and qualified. Such members shall not be compensated for their services as such but shall be reimbursed for all necessary expenses.
(b) The Five Mile River Commission shall have regulatory jurisdiction over the use of said river. Said commission shall concern itself with the navigation, pollution and conservation of said river and its drainage basin. It shall be the responsibility of said commission to bring to the attention of the appropriate federal, state or local authorities any and all violations of federal, state or local law brought to its notice which in any way affects said river. In addition said commission shall propose for ratification by the legislative bodies of the towns of Norwalk and Darien such regulations and procedures as it deems necessary for the control of moorings and for safe and orderly navigation. The commission may, with the consent of said legislative bodies apply to the appropriate federal authority for the designation of the Five Mile River estuary as a "special anchorage area".
(c) The Five Mile River Commission shall appoint by majority vote a harbor superintendent. Said superintendent shall serve at the commission's pleasure and shall, subject to the approval of the commission, receive an annual salary established and paid by the member towns. He shall have such authority as the commission may delegate.
(d) Said commission may contract for the services of such professional and clerical personnel as is necessary to carry out the purposes of this section.
(e) The town of New Canaan, upon majority vote by its legislative body, may, at any time, become a member of the Five Mile River Commission, in which event two electors of said town shall be appointed to the commission as provided in subsection (a) of this section.
(1971, P.A. 805, S. 1−4; 1972, P.A. 277, S. 2, 3; P.A. 94-59, S. 3.)
History: 1972 act removed members from New Canaan from commission in Subsec. (a) and added Subsec. (e) re terms upon which New Canaan shall become member; P.A. 94-59 added provision that appointments shall be made by the board of selectmen in the case of a town in which the legislative body is a town meeting.
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