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OCIMF: Pilot ladder side rope failure: Unsafe pilot transfer

What happened?

During the disembarkation of two pilots from a condensate tanker, the right anterior side rope of a pilot ladder failed. The structural durability of the ladder was visually assessed by the first pilot and determined to be satisfactory; the second pilot managed to disembark without incident. Further inspection of the ladder revealed a parted side rope, which affected the overall stability of the ladder.

Whilst an incident did not occur this time, the failure of the side rope did in fact create an unsafe condition for pilot transfer, therefore creating a high potential hazard.

What went wrong?

  • The pilot ladder side rope had been weakened due to mould;
  • Inspections that were in place were ineffective.

What actions were taken? What lessons were learned?

  • A close visual inspection by trained personnel could have noticed the damage;
  • Improvement needs to be made to the ladder inspection processes;
  • Update knowledge on finding faults with pilot ladders and rope damage;
  • Change the pilot transfer procedure and review alternative methods.

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents:

Safety Event

Published: 30 October 2018
Download: IMCA SF 24/18

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