(1) The department shall examine persons who file application as state pilot in all matters pertaining to the management of vessels and in regard to their knowledge of the channels, waters, harbors, and port where they wish to serve, and, if upon examination to determine proficiency the department finds them qualified to pilot all classes of vessels liable to enter that port and thoroughly familiar with the waters, the channels, the harbor, and the port, the department shall appoint and license as state pilots such number of pilots as in the discretion of the board are required to act in the ports of the state. However, the number of pilots appointed and licensed by the department shall not exceed the number provided for in s. 310.061.
(2) The department shall similarly examine persons who file applications for certificate as deputy pilot, and, if upon examination to determine proficiency the department finds them qualified, the department shall certify as qualified all applicants who pass the examination, provided that not more than five persons who passed the examination are certified for each declared opening. If more than five applicants per opening pass the examination, the persons having the highest scores shall be certified as qualified up to the number of openings times five. The department shall give consideration to the minority and female status of applicants when qualifying deputy pilots, in the interest of ensuring diversification within the state piloting profession. The department shall appoint and certificate such number of deputy pilots from those applicants deemed qualified as in the discretion of the board are required in the respective ports of the state. A deputy pilot shall be authorized by the department to pilot vessels within the limits and specifications established by the licensed state pilots at the port where the deputy is appointed to serve.
(3) Pilots shall hold their licenses or certificates pursuant to the requirements of this chapter so long as they:
(a) Possess the qualifications set out in this chapter.
(b) Are in good physical and mental health as evidenced by documentary proof of having satisfactorily passed a physical examination administered by a licensed physician or physician assistant within each calendar year. The board shall adopt rules to establish requirements for passing the physical examination, which rules shall establish minimum standards for the physical or mental capabilities necessary to carry out the professional duties of a licensed state pilot or a certificated deputy pilot. Such standards shall include zero tolerance for any controlled substance regulated under chapter 893 unless that individual is under the care of a physician, an advanced practice registered nurse, or a physician assistant and that controlled substance was prescribed by that physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant. To maintain eligibility as a certificated deputy pilot or licensed state pilot, each certificated deputy pilot or licensed state pilot must annually provide documentary proof of having satisfactorily passed a complete physical examination administered by a licensed physician. The physician must know the minimum standards and certify that the certificateholder or licensee satisfactorily meets the standards. The standards for certificateholders and for licensees shall include a drug test.
(c) Are subject to a substance abuse program that has been approved by the board, which includes provisions for drug testing.
(d) Attend a board-approved seminar for continuing education which includes radar certification.
(e) Remain in active service in the ports for which they are appointed.
Upon resignation or in the case of disability permanently affecting a pilot’s ability to serve, the state license or certificate issued under this chapter shall be revoked by the department.