Meet Captain

Stephen A. Richter

Captain Richter

See Captain Richter's Curriculum Vitae, view a summary of his Professional Qualifications and Recent Litigation, or Contact him directly for a more detailed case list.

Having earned his Unlimited Master of Any Gross Tons upon Oceans License in 1985, Captain Stephen Richter has nearly 4 decades of experience as a Master Mariner and Pilot. A graduate of SUNY Maritime College, Captain Richter has sailed on and piloted every type of vessel, from large container and tank ships to smaller tug barges. He is licensed to pilot in nearly all waters between Philadelphia and Boston as well as St. Croix in the USVI, and various other ports. He is also state licensed docking pilot in the port of NY/NJ.

As an Expert Witness and Marine Consultant, Captain Richter has been engaged on legal cases involving vessels ranging from the largest cruise ships, tank ships, container vessels, tugs, tugs barges, and ATBs to recreational vessels including personal water craft and even kayaks.  Captain Richter has been retained nearly equally by both plaintiffs and defendants.

Captain Richter actively pilots vessels on the Delaware River, New York Harbor, and the Hudson River. He lives one block from the Delaware River in Philadelphia, PA where he is active in his community, including serving as a Guest Instructor and Advisory Board Member to the Maritime Academy Charter School in Philadelphia. Captain Richter and his wife have two children and three grandsons.

See Captain Richter’s Curriculum Vitae, view a summary of his Professional Qualifications and Recent Litigation, or Contact him directly for a more detailed case list.

Captain Stephen A. Richter, Master Mariner and First Class Pilot, is a licensed Ship Master and brings over four decades of experience to his work as a Marine Expert Witness and Consultant.

First Class Pilot

Captain Richter holds first class pilot endorsements for nearly every waterway between the Delaware River and the Boston Harbor, in addition to the lower Mississippi River and St. Croix in the U.S.V.I. As an experienced bar pilot, river pilot, and docking pilot, he has piloted ships of all types, sizes and registry including tankships, containers ships, car ships, naval vessels, tugs and barges, ATBs, and smaller crafts.

Expert Witness

Captain Richter has been retained as an expert witness on numerous cases and is also available to consult on marine safety, ship-handling, and navigation.  Please contact us to discuss your current litigation needs, including case preparation and expert witness testimony.

Captain Richter has been retained as an Expert Witness and Navigation Consultant, on claims involving various tank ships, container vessels, tugs, ATBs, and fishing vessels, as well as personal water craft, recreational boats, and even kayaks, for both plaintiffs and defendants.

Due to his many years of experience, Captain Richter is an extremely credible witness who can speak with authority on nearly all marine matters and vessel incidents. He offers a unique perspective, considering options and presenting explanations that may not be immediately obvious. He also works in affiliation with other experts, drawing upon their experience for peer review as needed. On occasion, if an affiliated expert would be better suited for your specific case, Captain Richter will refer you accordingly, in order to provide you with the most qualified expert available.

S.A.R. Marine Services

Professional Expertise in the Maritime Industry
  • Wake, wave, and surge damage
  • Assessing the relationship between Pilots, Ship’s Masters, and crew
  • Dock damages, personal injuries, and Jones Act Claims
  • Accidents with loss of life
Legal Services & Expert Witness Testimony
  • Case preparation
  • Accident forensics and reconstruction
  • Deposition or testimony preparation
  • Expert reports
  • Expert Testimony


Marine Safety, Navigation, and Vessel Operation Consulting
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Incident/Accident Investigations (DNV-GL)
  • Review of vessels and safety operations
  • Provision of safety recommendations 
  • Improved safety records as a result


  • Master Mariner for nearly four decades (since 1985)
  • First Class Pilot
  • State Licensed Docking Pilot
  • Master of Steam and Motor Vessels of Any Gross Tons upon Oceans
  • Master of Towing Vessels
  • Expert Witness
  • Marine Consultant
  • Graduate SUNY Maritime College, 1981
  • Member of the American Bar Association
  • Member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • Advisory Board of the Maritime Academy Charter School in Philadelphia
  • Mariner’s Advisory Committee for the Bay and River Delaware
  • Member of Boston Marine Society and NY Harbor Operators Committee

Recent Litigation


  • Retained on behalf of a plaintiff (crew member) who was seriously injured when a line parted as a result of his moored vessel being surged by a passing cruise ship.  Assisted with depositions, was myself deposed, and assisted with case preparation. Settled favorably just prior to trial
  • Retained on behalf of a defendant in a case involving a recreational vessel in PA, and a young person’s loss of life.  I assisted with case preparation and testified during the trial. Jury verdict for the defense.
  • Retained on behalf of the defendant in a criminal case involving a loss of life on a sailing vessel at sea.  I assisted with incident investigation and case preparation.  The case was dismissed during trial.
  • Retained on behalf of the plaintiff regarding claims originating from a collision between a ship and a tug / barge in Texas.  I assisted with case preparation, depositions, and prepared reports.  The case was settled favorably after years of litigation. 
  • An up-to-date case list including a list of prior testimony is available upon request.


  • Retained as a consultant by a large, well-known towing and petroleum company after one of their vessels was involved in a collision which resulted in the sinking of a vessel with loss of life; conducted review of the towing vessels and their operation to render a list of recommendations.  The company implemented my  recommendations to improve their safety record.

Get in Touch

Stephen A. Richter, Master Mariner and Pilot,
S. A. Richter Marine Consultant, Inc.

101 Alter St., Philadelphia, PA 19147

(908) 902-8613