Through a new Safety Alert, the Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) brings the results of the IMPA Safety Campaign 2020 to the attention of seafarers, pilots, owners, managers and Classification Societies.

In the spotlight of this year’s campaign is the death of two pilots, whilst attempting to board vessels using combination ladders.

Broadly in line with previous years’ findings, 12.11% of arrangements were reported to be noncompliant with combination ladders and pilot ladders having the most defects by both number and percentage.

Common defects

Broadly, reported defects can be categorized in to four areas: design, procedure, rigging and maintenance.

  • Procedural issues can be avoided through clear communication and implementation of requirements:

  • Defects identified in the rigging and maintenance of ladders are generally self-explanatory and can be reduced through an effective planned maintenance regime and consistent application of guidance:

Watch: Dangerous Ladders campaign launched

Many of the common issues found with securing of pilot ladders are steps taken by crews as a way to work around constraints imposed by deck cargo, loading or other prevailing circumstances.

Therefore, BMA draws attention to the following common issues that should be avoided:

In addition, combination ladders continue to be problematic, especially on vessels with a large range of operating freeboards. Attention is drawn to the following common issues that should be avoided:

It should be noted that there are many trapdoor systems and other means of transfer that have been identified as non-compliant despite Class approval. Seafarers, owners, managers and Classification Societies are urged to check that pilot transfer arrangements onboard their vessels meet statutory requirements.

Explore IMPA's Safety Campaign 2020