[cleeng_content id=”900299457″ description=”Part V” price=”0.24″]

As the Tampa Bay Pilots grew in size, and perhaps for other reasons, its members decided to establish their own office. Accordingly, in the latter part of 1922 or early 1923, they employed Charles M. Moore, son of the former light keeper of Egmont Key lighthouse He opened their office and served as agent, office manager, bookkeeper and dispatcher for 25 years, until his retirement in February, 1948.  “Charley” Moore was on the scene when the Tampa Bay Pilots as an association was formed.  Born in Tampa near the present Cass Street bridge on October 25, 1876, he was taken to Egmont Key as an infant by his parents and lived there continuously, except for periods of schooling at Fogartyville and Rollins College, until he came to work with the pilot group.  As a young man he was employed briefly by the Marine Hospital Service on Egmont Key and for 25, years thereafter by the U. S. Army Engineers e He eventually became superintendent and had charge of construction of many of the installations at Fort Dade and Fort DeSoto on Egmont and Mullet Keys, respectively.

It was only after these projects were phased out that Charles Moore assumed the management of the affairs of the Tampa Bay Pilots.  His combined service on his two jobs spanned a period of (Tampa Port Authority 1969)[i]more than a half century and three wars — the Spanish American, and World Wars I and II — with all their attendant activity. It is reasonable to assume, then, that no other individual was ever more intimately acquainted with Egmont and Mullet Keys, the greater port of Tampa and the Tampa Bay Pilots during those 51 years than Charles M. Moore. It was the privilege of this speaker to have talked at length on two occasions with Mr. Moore in 1966 some months before his death in his 90th year.  He was then of sound mind and retentive memory and provided this speaker with much valuable and interesting information. That is another story.

So much, then, for the historical and legal background of pilots and piloting in general and certain of the individuals connected with or having knowledge of our group from its beginning.’ In describing the present-day Tampa Bay Pilots Association, certain aspects might well be listed as follows: organization, physical assets and conditions, duties, operation, regulation and fiscal characteristics. Our group consists of fifteen pilots and one apprentice, most former shipmasters, two former tugboat captains, but all with years of experience as deck officers before appointment as State pilots. Although Florida law tradition­ally provides for a four-year apprenticeship as partial requirement for qualification as pilot, we have encouraged the appointment of merchant marine officers who have a first-class pilot endorsement on their masters’ license. This is prima facie evidence of qualification to handle enrolled vessels and is usually accepted as such for appointment as a State pilot, although not legally recognized or required.