Rhode Island State Pilotage Commission

The Rhode Island State Pilotage Commission was establised to: provide maximum safety from the dangers of navigation for vessels entering or leaving the waters of this state; to maintain a state pilotage system devoted to the preservation and protection of lives, property, and vessels entering or leaving waters of this state at the highest standard of efficiency; and, to insure an adequate supply of pilots well qualified for the discharge of their duties.

The Rhode Island State Pilotage Commission meets on the first Thursday of each month with the exceptions of July & August. Meetings are held at the Department of Environmental Management, Division of Law Enforcement offices at 235 Promenade Street, Providence Rhode Island. Meetings are open to the general public. One public hearing is required to be held each year for the purposes of reviewing any proposed changes to the Pilot Regulations, to assess the need for new pilots and to take comments from the public, and all other matters under the jurisdiction of the Commission.

Meet the Commission Members

Captain E. Howard McVay, Jr., Chairman

Captain E. Howard McVay, Jr., Chairman

Captain McVay is a former deep-sea master mariner with over 35 years piloting experience. He grew up sailing and racing on the waters of New England and Narragansett Bay. Prior to becoming a Northeast Marine Pilot, Captain McVay graduated from Massachusetts Maritime Academy and went to sea first with the Masters Mates and Pilots (MMP) union followed by Arco Marine. With Arco Marine, Captain McVay sailed aboard the largest vessels under the United States flag. Captain McVay has been a Pilot Commissioner since 1998 and retired from the rotation of RI State Pilots in 2019.

Photo of Dean Hoxsie

Dean Hoxsie

Dean Hoxsie is a graduate of Roger Williams University with a BS in Administration of Criminal Justice. He began his career as a member of the Narraganset Police Department and served for 32 years. During his career he also served as the harbor master and acting Town Manager for Narragansett. He currently serves as Chief for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's Division of Law Enforcement, which is responsible for natural resource law enforcement in Rhode Island including enforcement of hunting, fishing (commercial and recreational) and boating safety laws and regulations.

Photo of Christina Hoefsmit

Christina Hoefsmit, ESQ, Legal Counsel to the Commission

Attorney Hoefsmit joined the Commission as Legal Counsel in January 2018. In that capacity she represents the Commission’s interest in all tribunals and assists the Commission with the enforcement of the State Pilotage Commission Rules and Regulations. Attorney Hoefsmit also serves as Senior Legal Counsel within the Department of Environmental Management; holding a Bachelor’s of Science in Aquatic Fishery Science as well as a Master’s of Marine Affairs.

Reporting Guidelines

RI State Licensed pilots are required to report to the Commission any of the following occurrences.

  • Grounding, striking of a submerged object, or unintended contact with any object or vessel. Loss or reduction of vessel main propulsion. Loss of electrical power. Loss of, or an improperly working gyro. Loss of steering.
  • Damage to vessel, dock, or terminal during docking or undocking.
  • Emergency use of an anchor. Loss of an anchor.
  • Complain against a pilot for excessive speed, wake, or any damage caused by a vessel.

Roster of RI State Pilots, Probationary & Apprentice Pilots

Roster as of 3/4/21 with license dates | View/Download the current pilot roster


Full Branch Narrgansett Bay


Capt. E. Howard McVay Jr (*)

March 1987

Capt. Clinton Walker

December 2006

Capt. Vincent Kirby

June 2007

Capt. Richard Astles

June 2008

Capt. Sean Bogus

April 2012

Capt. Dave Gray

February 2017

Capt. Adam Sanford

November 2017

Capt. Dale Harper

November 2020

Probationary: Narragansett Bay




Apprentice: Narragansett Bay


Capt. Matt Stevens


Capt. Theodore Sanford


(*) Denotes retired from the “Rotation roster”.


Meeting Minutes