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

Jason E. McNamee, Ph.D., Chairperson

Headshot of Jason McNamee

As Deputy Director and previously as Chief of the RI Department of Environmental Management’s (RIDEM) Marine Fisheries Division, Jason E McNamee has worked for over 20 years on environmental and fisheries matters. Before working for the Marine Fisheries Division, he worked for 2 years as an intern with RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Freshwater Section as well as 2 years in the RIDEM’s Office of Water Resources. While with the Marine Division, Jason has served as the principle investigator for the Narragansett Bay Juvenile Finfish Seine Survey. He is also active in the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s process as the lead delegate for Rhode Island and as a member of numerous management boards, technical committees, and stock assessment sub-committees. Jason was appointed in 2013 to the New England Fishery Management Council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee and served as chair of that committee for several years.

Jason graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology. His graduate work started at the University of Connecticut, where he graduated in 2006 with a Master of Science in Biological Oceanography. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography in their Biological Oceanography Doctoral program in 2018.

Capt. Vincent Kirby

Headshot of Capt. Vince Kirby

Capt. Kirby is a RI, MA, and NY licensed Ship Pilot with an exceptional safety and performance record on the waters of Narragansett Bay and Southern New England. He holds unlimited federal and state pilotage licenses for the waters from Throggs Neck, NY to Provincetown, MA, and has safely piloted over 3,500 vessels on these waters over the past 20 years.

Capt. Kirby’s deep sea career included 13 years in deck officer positions from 3rd Mate to Master on a wide range of ships engaged in global commerce, including highly specialized 936 foot long, 95,000 ton Liquified Natural Gas Carriers in the Indonesian-Japanese natural gas trade, Containerships on U.S. to Northern Europe and Mediterranean trade routes, and Tankers circumnavigating the globe.

Concurrent with his seagoing and piloting activities, he has directed national pilot R&D initiatives and U.S. maritime security projects, instructed ship captains on advanced navigation techniques, participated in ship hydrodynamic panels, and advised numerous entities on safe ship channel design and port development projects.

He is graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, a previous multiple U.S. National Singlehanded sailing champion, and coach of multiple collegiate All-American and national championship sailors. His lifelong boating and maritime career began sailing small boats in Newport Harbor as a youth.

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 Nov. 2023 with license dates | View/Download the current pilot roster


Full Branch Narragansett Bay


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

Capt. Matt Stevens

 May 2023

Capt. Theodore Sanford

May 2023

Probationary: Narragansett Bay




Apprentice: Narragansett Bay


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


Meeting Minutes