Captain Stephenson, J.D. is a licensed USCG — Master Mariner of Any Gross Tons and licensed as a state & federal pilot for Port Everglades, Florida. Captain Stephenson has years of seagoing experience as captain on ships of unlimited tonnage and is currently a Senior Harbor Pilot in Port Everglades routinely navigating the largest cruise ship(s) in the world in & out of Port Everglades in addition to oil tankers, containerships, US Naval ships, etc.
He is a lead instructor at Resolve Maritime Academy in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and has developed senior level courses for captains/senior officers and pilots including COLREGS, BRM-Pilots, Advanced Shiphandling, Podded Propulsion, etc. In 2015, Captain Stephenson was appointed to the USCG-Navigation Safety Advisory Committee. In 2016, he was appointed President of the Florida State Harbor Pilots Association.
Prior to becoming a Port Everglades Pilot, Captain Stephenson was Commandant of Cadets at Texas A&M Maritime Academy and Captain on the United States Training Ship Texas Clipper II. He was in charge of the discipline, safety & training of hundreds of maritime cadets at the academy.
Captain Stephenson has been an avid boater and fisherman his entire life. At the age of six, he started racing optimist prams, and in high school at Admiral Farraguut Academy in Toms River, N.J. raced Lasers. In college, he won the US Navy Southwest Laser Championship, and was skipper in the Texas Ocean Racing Circuit. He grew up fishing and diving off the coast of Florida, activities which he still continues to do on a regular basis when he isn't piloting ships.
Captain Stephenson served 21 years in the United States Naval Reserve and retired as Commander. He resides in Boca Raton, Florida with his wife and four children. He has been retained as a maritime expert for over 20 years in civil & criminal cases in federal & state court.