Thursday, August 28, 2014

Former Jacobsen Pilot Service President Dies

By Mark Edward Nero

Richard J. Jacobsen, former president of Jacobsen Pilot Service at the Port of Long Beach, died Friday, August 22, at his home in the Los Angeles area. He was 82.

“We’re saddened to learn of the passing of Richard Jacobsen, this is a man who was a leader in the industry and most importantly, he is part of the Port of Long Beach family. He will be missed,” Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Doug Drummond said.

Richard “Dick” Jacobsen was born in San Pedro on Nov. 26, 1931. His parents were Capt. Jacob Andrew Jacobsen and Elise Gulbransen Jacobsen, both from Norway.

Jacobsen graduated from the California Maritime Academy in 1952 and then served in the US Navy where he reached the rank of lieutenant. He then he gained experience in merchant shipping, before he came to work with his father, Jacob Jacobsen, at the family business in the mid-1950s.

Jacobsen Pilot Service provides all port pilots for ships that call at the Port of Long Beach. Port pilots meet incoming ships outside the breakwater, and using their in-depth knowledge of the local harbor and wharves, guide the ships into berth and back out to sea.

Dick Jacobsen worked as a port pilot before he became president of the company in 1960, leading the company into the containerization era. Under his leadership, JPS pioneered the use of new safety-enhancing technologies that eventually became standard in the industry.

Jacobsen is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sandra; two daughters, Katherine Anderson and Linda Fester; and a son, Thomas Jacobsen, who is the pilot service’s current president. Dick Jacobsen also leaves behind seven grandchildren and a sister, Andrea Ulin.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the International Seafarers Center of Los Angeles/Long Beach, 120 S. Pico Ave, Long Beach 90802. And also the Assistance League of San Pedro-South Bay, 1441 W. 8th St., San Pedro 90732.