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Six new pilots join ABP Humber team - but more are required

ABP Humber has expanded its pilotage team, tasked with the vital role in safely navigating commercial vessels through the UK’s busiest estuary.

Six new pilots join ABP Humber team - but more are required

Six new recruits have recently joined the already-strong team of 119 marine professionals, with vacancies still to be filled.

Last year ABP’s pilots completed nearly 17,000 operations - nearly 50 a day - making them among the busiest in the UK.

Matt Booth, pilotage operations manager for ABP Humber, said: “We’re delighted to be able to welcome much-needed additional support to our pilotage team as they’re essential in ensuring the smooth flow of trade into all the Humber ports and wharves.

“All of our pilots have relevant marine experience from the Merchant or Royal Navy. It’s a very demanding job, as they’re called to pilot ships at any time of day or night, 365 days a year, on an estuary that is known for being incredibly dynamic.”

All pilot recruits go through six months of rigorous training to ensure they become experts on the river and its unique characteristics.

One such recently qualified trainee is Billy Cotnoir. Before joining ABP, Billy had been in the maritime industry for 16 years, travelling the world on cruise ships and working on drilling rigs and oil rig barges.

“I’ve always wanted to be a pilot and I’m grateful that ABP has given me the opportunity to prove myself,” said Billy, who has relocated to Hull with his family. 

“The Humber is such a challenging waterway to navigate, however I’ve been given the best all-round training and the senior pilots have been extremely helpful in mentoring and sharing their extensive knowledge.

“I enjoy the role because it’s exciting, rewarding and different every day.”

If you think you have the relevant experience to become a pilot and would like to take on a new challenge working for the busiest port complex in the country, visit

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