Specifically, the New York pilot lost his life as he fell while boarding an inbound containership on December 30, 2019.
In this case, the embarkation was via a combination arrangement of an accommodation ladder and a pilot ladder. This combination involved a trapdoor leading the pilot to pull himself up while also twisting to ensure proper footing on the platform. In his attempt to achieve this difficult maneuver, the pilot fell.
Despite the fact that the IMO guidelines are against trapdoors since they are considered to be unsafe, they are usually used onboard several ships with ladder-pilot accommodation.
On behalf of the 1,200 pilots in the U.S. state pilotage system, we are asking for your help in bringing about a swift end to this dangerous situation by taking responsible measures, including, but not limited to, the ones proposed below, to protect the safety of the pilots under your jurisdiction.
...the Association noted through its letter.
For the records, 9 years ago the IMO revised the SOLAS pilot transfer regulation (SOLAS V/23) and its implementing guidelines (Res. A.1045) in response to continuing complaints about unsafe pilot transfer arrangements.
"Against this background, it is frustrating, and now tragic, that pilots continue to encounter, and have to deal with, trapdoor arrangements like the one found on the ship from which Captain Sherwood fell. BUT, it doesn’t have to be this way. Complying with Regulation 23 and Resolution A.1045 is not an expensive proposition. Replacing or retrofitting equipment to meet the standards would not be a significant project"
...the Association marked.
In light of the situation, several days ago the Seafarers International House (SIH) announced that they are joining the Dangerous Ladders campaign, after the death of a veteran Sandy Hook ship pilot, who fell from an accommodation ladder.