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Simon Lebrun

Pilot

Corporation for Mid St. Lawrence Pilots
Montreal, Quebec
19 Years in the Industry

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At age 36, Simon Lebrun has already found his dream career.  He captains a wide variety of commercial ships without ever having to leave the City of Montreal for more than 12 hours.

“I live in the city. Within 10-15 minutes, I go from being in a busy, noisy city to where I’m on a vessel in the completely natural environment of the St. Lawrence,” he says.

Lebrun takes over the pilotage of international ships larger than 35 metres and Canadian ships larger than 70 metres that transit the St. Lawrence River on their way to and from the Port of Montreal or to and from the St. Lambert Lock. All ocean-going ships operating on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway are required by law to hire a U.S. or Canadian pilot to assist with navigation.

Lebrun brings his training and knowledge of the local waterways to ensure ships safely navigate the system through traffic, weather conditions and changes in water depth.  He relishes the challenge of a job that is always changing.

“When you have a really large vessel you have to handle coming up along a berth with the assistance of the tug boats — that is very satisfying. It’s always different. Even if you’ve piloted the vessel before, the currents and the weather are always different. That’s when you have to rely on your experience.”

After studying and working in the yachting and small vessel worlds, Lebrun obtained his Transport Canada license and Nautical Science diploma from the Institut Maritime du Québec. He sailed in Canada and around the world on everything from freighters and tankers to passenger ships, earning his captain’s license before taking his current position with the Corporation for Mid St.Lawrence Pilots, which contracts employees to the Laurentian Pilotage Authority. He is passionate about getting more young people involved with the industry.

“A lot of young people in Montreal forget that there are great jobs in the marine industry,” he explains. “Marine jobs are well-paid and highly skilled. Many positions use sophisticated, state-of-the-art equipment, offering working conditions comparable with shore-side high-tech industries.”