AMSA refers to a number of accidents that have taken place in Australia from 2017 because of ladders; In addition, the Authority often receives complaints about non compliance of pilot transfer arrangements.

Shipowners, operators, masters and crews are reminded that pilot transfer arrangements including pilot ladders, must cimply with Marine Order 21 (Safety and Emergency arrangements), 2016 (MO21). MO21 implements Australia’s obligations under thre International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Chapter V Regulation 23.

Pilot transfer arrangements standards:

  1. Whenever one embarks or disembarks from a ship by the ladder, they entrust their safety to the pilot transfer arrangements provided by the ship and the pilot boat crew.
  2. A pilot ladder has to be certified by the manufacturer, in compliance with the V/23.
  3. Paragraph 10.1 Part A of the ISM states that vessel operators have to establish procedures to ensure that a ship is in line with the relevant rules and regulations including pilot transfer arrangements.
  4. Clear and efficient communication with the pilot boat master is important to ensure the safety of the pilot transfer arrangements before a person uses the ladder. The pilot boat master can easily judge the correct height of the bottom of the ladder and identify nay issues.

The ones responsible to ensure the safety of this operation, are each person involved; Owners, operators, master and the crew, pilotage providers, pilots and pilot boat crew.

If a marine pilot thinks that the pilot transfer arrangement is unsafe, they have to refuse to use the arrangement until it is safe.

See also

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