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Incorrect gangway rigging

What happened

A member reports several cases of gangways being rigged incorrectly.

Incident 1

What went wrong

  • The bottom of the gangway was placed on the deck less than 1m from an un-barriered drop on the quay, which could potentially have led personnel descending the gangway to fall;
  • A safety net was not mounted correctly.
Red box shows un-barried drop

What was put right

  • The gangway was relocated closer to a substructure away from the recessed deck and with adequate fencing;
  • A safety net was correctly mounted to cover the gap between the ships.

Lessons learned

  • Gangways should not be used at an angle of inclination greater than 30° from the horizontal;
  • A safety net should be used where it is possible that a person may fall from the gangway;
  • Gangways should never be secured to a ship’s guardrails unless they have been designed for that purpose. If positioned through an open section of bulwark or railings, any remaining gaps should be adequately fenced;
  • As far as practicable, the means of embarkation and disembarkation should be sited clear of the working area and should not be placed where cargo or other suspended loads may pass overhead.

Incident 2

What went wrong

A Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) was alongside loading deck cargo. The PSV suddenly started moving alongside the jetty due to propeller wash from another vessel passing nearby. A passing workman on the quayside observed that the gangway had got stuck over a quayside bollard and was getting deformed by the vessel movement. He released the gangway rope and informed the gangway watch. The gangway was recovered to the vessel. It was found that it was significantly damaged; it was quarantined and sent away for repairs.

What was the cause

  • Crew failed to assess the risks related to potential vessel movement due to weather conditions and other vessel movements nearby – in this case, propellor wash;
  • The gangway watch was not thorough enough – a passing worker noticed what was happening.

Lessons learned

  • Ensure risk assessments related to gangway management cover risks of vessel movements due to weather conditions and impacts of waves from other vessels passing nearby;
  • Ensure gangway watch and management is suitable and sufficient.

Members may wish to refer to

Safety Event

Published: 11 January 2023
Download: IMCA SF 02/23

Relevant life-saving rules:
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