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Unsafe boarding of vessels

The Marine Safety Forum (MSF) has published the following safety alert regarding recent reports of individuals boarding vessels by means other than via the gangway.

There are a number of similarities between the incidents experienced;

  • The individuals doing this are not ship’s crew;
  • The incidents were taking place when the vessel is either preparing to sail or is coming alongside;
  • There was no gangway out at the time;
  • Individuals were jumping aboard through open ship side doors.

During the most recent incident, a surveyor from a classification society boarded the vessel whilst it was still being made fast, having just come alongside. The side door had been open to facilitate monitoring of the launch and recovery of the rescue boat for survey purposes – however, the safety chain was across the space. The surveyor removed the chain and jumped from the quayside onto the ship. The aft mooring station had only just confirmed to the bridge the vessel was all fast, and the engines and thrusters were still running when the incident occurred.

The full report can be found at

Members may wish to refer to the following incident (search word: boarding):

Safety Event

Published: 6 December 2016
Download: IMCA SF 33/16

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