There are “giants” in the maritime industry — individuals who have made a tremendous impact on the waterfront. Some of these individuals are well known. Others have a low public profile but, in quiet and unassuming ways, display leadership and influence the industry in many positive ways.
The maritime community lost one such individual the other day — Capt. Dick Jacobsen.
Dick Jacobsen was longtime president of the Jacobsen Pilot Service, which is based at the Port of Long Beach. The Jacobsen organization provides pilotage services for vessels calling the San Pedro port complex. For many in the maritime industry, the Jacobsen Pilot Service is the finest pilotage service in the United States. It is singularly focused on safety and has been an innovator for decades with regard to the introduction of new technology, standards of training and accountability.
The standards of care and customer service approach exhibited by the Jacobsen organization were a function of the personality of Capt. Dick Jacobsen — a person of great integrity and professionalism who was dedicated to the maritime industry and whose leadership and vision helped shape safety procedures in place today. Our paths crossed on a couple of occasions over the years. I remember him as someone who was always direct, knowledgeable, polite and gracious. While a tall man who could look imposing, he was a patient and gentle soul. The respect that the maritime community has for the Jacobsen Pilot Service is the legacy of Capt. Jacobsen — as were his kindness and generosity on an individual level.
Capt. Dick Jacobsen will be missed.