76A-35. Duties and authority.

(a) Rules and Regulations, Pilotage. - The Commission shall make and establish such rules and regulations as necessary and desirable respecting the qualifications, arrangements and station of pilots and for the control of navigation within the regulated area. In the development of such rules and regulations, the Commission should request the advice of the United States Coast Guard, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the Pilots' Association, other maritime interests and any other party that the Commission might deem beneficial. However, the Commission may not establish rules and regulations concerning the Morehead City to Aurora water route except as they may apply to foreign vessels displacing over 60 gross tons.

(b) Examination and Licensing. - The Commission may examine such persons who hold a federal pilot's license and who have complied with an apprentice course approved by the Commission as may offer themselves to be a pilot on the regulated area. The examination shall consist of, but not be limited to: a personal interview before the Commission; contact by the Commission with personal references; and a physical examination by a licensed physician based on a standard established by the Commission. Licenses shall be granted for a one-year period.

(c) License Renewal. - Each license shall be renewed annually provided during the preceding year the holder thereof shall have complied with the provisions of this Subchapter and the reasonable rules and regulations as prescribed by the Commission under authority hereof. The Commission may for special considerations validate a license for less than a one-year period. Each license renewal submittal shall be accompanied with a physical examination comparable to the standards set in G.S. 76A-35(b).

(d) Fine, License Suspension and Cancellation. - The Commission shall have the power to fine or call in and suspend or cancel the license of any pilot found to be derelict of duty, in violation of the reasonable rules and regulations as set out by the Commission or for other just cause. Grounds for suspension or cancellation shall include but not be limited to: citation by the United States Coast Guard and/or Commission for careless or neglectful duty resulting in damage to property or personal harm; absence, neglect of duty, absence from duty for a period longer than four weeks without written submission to and written approval from the Commission Chairman; other violations of regulations or in actions found by the Commission to be unduly disruptive of the pilotage and service and/or harmful to person or property.

The clear proceeds of fines levied pursuant to this subsection shall be remitted to the Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund in accordance with G.S. 115C-457.2.

(e) Pilots to Give Bond. - The Commission shall require of each pilot prior to granting his commission a bond with surety acceptable to the Commission in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Every bond taken of a pilot shall be filed with and preserved by the Commission in trust for every person, firm or corporation, who shall be injured by the neglect or misconduct of such pilots, and any person, firm or corporation so injured may severally bring suit for the damage by each one sustained.

(f) Jurisdiction over Disputes as to Pilotage or Navigation. - Disputes between pilots or over matters related to navigation in the regulated area may be voluntarily appealed by one of the pilots to the Commission for resolution or so presented to the Commission by any interested party for resolution. If a resolution is not reached or the Commission decision is unacceptable to either party, normal legal recourse is available to resolve the dispute. (1981 (Reg. Sess., 1982), c. 1176, s. 1; 1985, c. 517, s. 2; 1998-215, s. 137(b); 2011-183, s. 127(b).)