The accident took place during a routine changeover of pilots at Gravesend Reach pilotboarding station on the River Thames. Due to the choppy seas, the outbound general cargo vessel had created a lee for the pilot launch to the boarding process easier. The difference in freeboard between the two vessels was varying between about 30cm and 130cm. A pilot ladder had been rigged, but the sea pilot attempted to board by stepping up and through an open gate in the railings onto 'Sunmi’s' main deck which, although adjacent to the ladder, did not form part of the vessel’s designated pilot boarding arrangements.
- The International Maritime Pilots’ Association has been recommended to promulgate the requirements for gateways in vessels’ rails or bulwarks intended for pilot boarding operations by updating its ‘Required Boarding Arrangements For Pilot’ poster to include the amendments in IMO Resolution A.1108(29).
- A recommendation has also been made to Misje Rederi A.S. to ensure that the designated pilot boarding areas on Sunmi are marked and that pilot boarding operations are overseen by a responsible officer.
Further details can be found by reading the full report: