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Defective embarkation ladder quarantined – a reminder

What happened

During routine inspection of the port side embarkation ladder on a vessel operating in a tropical environment, it was observed that the embarkation ladder rope has become very weak and snapped, when pulled apart by hands. This could likely have led to a man overboard situation had the ladder been used.

What were the causes?

Our member noted the following preliminary causes:

  • The protective canvas cover was inadequate, not providing adequate protection for the ladder;
  • The crew had a poor culture of routine inspection;
  • Exposure to seawater and sunlight (actinic degradation).


  • Pilot ladders and other ladders should be appropriately and carefully stored, checked regularly as part of a planned maintenance system, and defective ladders removed from service immediately.

Members may wish to refer to:

Safety Event

Published: 28 October 2021
Download: IMCA SF 29/21

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