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Safe embarkation and disembarkation of Marine Pilots

What happened?

During the embarkation of the Pilot to the vessel, the Pilot observed that a step on the Pilot ladder was not in good condition (broken). The Pilot implemented the Stop Work Policy and informed the Master of the vessel, noting that the Pilot ladder would need changing before he would embark. The pilot ladder was subsequently replaced and the pilot boarded the vessel.

What were the causes? What went wrong?

The Pilot ladder was not in good condition. It had not been inspected before it was put in place by the vessel crew.

Members are reminded to ensure that:

  • The technical specification of pilot ladders meets IMO requirements as per Resolution A.1045(27);
  • Persons ordering or sourcing new pilot ladders should clearly know the IMO requirements and should specify to suppliers that every step on the ladder should be free of knots;
  • New pilot ladders are thoroughly checked before use to verify quality and to ensure that the steps are clear from knots;
  • Pilot ladders are always checked by the officer in charge before rigging and use to ensure it is fit for purpose, in good condition and secured properly to the vessel.

Members may wish to refer to the following incidents:

The following documents will be useful:

  • SOLAS Regulation 23 on Pilot Transfer Arrangements
  • International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Shipping Industry Guidance on Pilot Transfer Arrangements – Ensuring Compliance with SOLAS
  • IMO Resolution A.1045(27) Pilot Transfer Arrangements

Safety Event

Published: 14 August 2020
Download: IMCA SF 24/20

Relevant life-saving rules:
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