The film series seeks to reduce the incidence of non-compliant ladder arrangements, something that pilots face every day of their working lives.

The development, production and distribution of this series is sponsored by DNV GL, GasLog, Intertanko, Northern Marine, PTR Holland, The Standard Club and Stolt Tankers, all of whom have an interest in the safety of maritime pilots, with support from the pilots at ABP Southampton and a vessel location supplied by Tarmac.

The #DangerousLadders Facebook group provided continual discussion and educational advice from the global pilotage community.

Based on the campaign begun on Twitter a couple of years ago by @Valpilotboat using the hashtag #dangerousladders, the film brings together a number of highly experienced pilots and pilots’ representatives to create a resource based on the premise that if a ladder arrangement is non-compliant, it is not safe.

This comes as part of IMPA's annual pilot ladder safety survey, released in October 2016, which aimed to monitor compliance levels and draw to the industry’s attention to the defects that pilots encounter when boarding and disembarking vessels.

Common defects identified included:

  • Not against ship’s hull
  • Steps not of suitable material
  • Poorly rigged retrieval line
  • Steps broken
  • Steps not equally spaced
  • Pilot Ladder more than 9 meters
  • Steps dirty/slippery
  • Side-ropes not of suitable material
  • Pilot Ladder too far forward/Aft
  • Steps painted
  • Incorrect step fittings
  • No bulwark ladder
  • Steps not horizontal

A more recent report in 2018, IMPA released a Pilot Ladder Safety survey which showed that:

  • Vessels still do not comply with basic standards;
  • Many fake ladders are sold to unsuspecting vessels;
  • Classification Societies certify non-compliant arrangements;
  • Port State Control officers sign off vessels on the basis of certificates without even sighting the ladders;
  • Inadequate boarding arrangements are prepared by poorly motivated crews often without officer supervision.