David Flinn Headshot

Capt. David Flinn

Chief Port Pilot II

Captain David Flinn jointly oversees the Los Angeles Pilot Service, a team of nearly 30 dedicated professionals that includes pilots, dispatchers, boat captains and deck hands at the Port of Los Angeles. In any given year, the Service handles roughly 3,600 ships and all involved diligently strive to provide expert pilotage service for Port customers. The Service maintains an around-the-clock operation that safely guides arriving and departing vessels from the Port. Considered among the best-trained pilots in the maritime industry, the Los Angeles Pilot Service is the only pilot organization in the nation staffed with government employees.

Appointed in 2017, Capt. Flinn directs all the pilot service activities helping to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vessels within the Port. His duties include piloting ships, managing budgetary expenditures, coordinating schedules, staff training, safety provisions and the proper utilization of equipment.

Capt. Flinn began his career with the Port of Los Angeles as a pilot in 1999. Prior to the Port, he joined the start-up of Disney Cruise Line, where he was instrumental in delivering their first ship the Disney Magic.

His maritime career started with Texaco sailing aboard their coastwise ocean-going tankers as a senior ships officer earning his Master license and pilotage for several ports, including Los Angeles/Long Beach and New York Harbors. During the following years, he worked for Moran Towing & Transportation in New York Harbor as a tug Captain, moving barges and docking ships; as a Captain of near coastal tankers; as a relief master of the training vessel Kings Pointer, and as an assistant professor at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, where he taught seamanship and shiphandling. In 1996, during his tenure as assistant professor, he was awarded the Sue Alice McNulty Award for distinguished teaching.

He holds a bachelor of science in marine transportation from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, and master of science in environmental management from Long Island University, C.W. Post College.