Following an increase in marine pilot fatalities, American Club released the Good Catch safety guidance in order to raise seafarers’ situational awareness.
o remind, SOLAS regulation V/23, Pilot Transfer Arrangements, set forth the standards and requirements for boarding arrangements, responsibility of ship’s personnel in rigging pilot transfer equipment, associated pilot transfer equipment, clear access and lighting.
When the vertical freeboard to the water level is more than 30 feet (9 meters), a combination ladder arrangement, consisting of a pilot ladder and an accommodation ladder at the same time, is normally used.
The reason for this is that a fall from more than 30 feet (9 meters) into the water is considered mortal. There are many things to keep in mind when rigging a combination ladder, all of which can be found on the International Maritime Organization/ International Maritime Pilots’ Association poster, Required Boarding Arrangements for Pilots.
Most deficiencies noted are:
- the platform is less than 16 feet (5 meters) over the water;
- the platform is not horizontal;
- the pilot ladder is not secured to the vessel’s side at 5 feet (1.5 meters) above the platform;
- the accommodation ladder is not secured to the vessel’s side;
- the inner stanchion of the combination ladder is missing.