VIDEO: Former Bay Pilot Gives Inside Look at Dangers of the Job

Chesapeake Bay pilots—the kind on the water, not in the air—guide massive cargo ships safely through the Bay’s channels every day. But many people don’t know just how these local pilots board commercial ships while they’re moving full speed ahead. The pilot reaches from a smaller boat up to a rope ladder hanging from the side, clinging on in rough, dark waters (yes, that’s really how it’s done!) Two recent East Coast tragedies underscore the risks of this line of work.

A retired Bay pilot shows Cheryl Costello what it’s like . Watch below: