The New Orleans Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association was founded in 1943. It is with great respect that I look to our founding nine members and their early efforts to steer the beginnings and continued growth of the organization. At the time of NOBRA's founding in 1943, these skilled and qualified pilots were bound only by the ties of friendship and a mutual understanding of the problems of their chosen profession, piloting vessels sailing the Mississippi River between the ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

The Articles of Incorporation state that the association “.....was formed to carry on the business of piloting sea-going and other vessels on the Mississippi River, between the Mississippi River Ports of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and return, for fees, and to shift vessels in the harbors of Harahan, Avondale, St. Rose, Destrehan, Good Hope, Norco, Reserve, Burnside, Gramercy and other harbors to and including Baton Rouge, Louisiana and to inculcate, secure and maintain skill, discipline, merit and efficiency in the pilots engaged in this business and to promote and assist the commerce and prosperity of these ports and intermediate ports


  • 5.5 to 6 years of maritime experience
  • Knowledge of the waters they serve
  • Coast Guard licensed
  • Re-certified every five years Minimum one-year apprenticeship
  • Required number of vessel movements under the supervision of a licensed pilot
  • Continuing education hours and ship simulator courses
  • Random drug tests exceeding federal DOTD requirements
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