Steamship Mutual draws attention to Pilots’ campaign

Steamship Mutual has drawn Members’ attention to a Safety Campaign undertaken by The International Pilots’ Association (IMPA).

The purpose of the campaign was to determine the level of compliance with requirements for safe pilot transfer arrangements. The most hazardous part of a vessel’s voyage was in pilotage waters, and it is for this reason that pilots were engaged. But for an individual pilot the process of embarkation and disembarkation was the most hazardous part of any act of pilotage. The risks inherent in ascending or descending a pilot ladder were significant, even in benign conditions. “As weather conditions become adverse, so those risks increase.”

The Club said that any incident resulting in the loss of life or personal injury of a pilot occurring during such operations as the result of a failure of those on the vessel to adhere to recommended safe practices could give rise to “significant P&I liabilities”.

The Club said that it was therefore “of the utmost importance to ensure that pilot boarding and disembarkation arrangements comply with SOLAS Regulation V/23 and IMO Resolutions A.1045(27) and A.1108(29)” which could be found links listed below.

More than 4,000 data returns were made by IMPA members worldwide on the safety compliance of boarding arrangements, of which 570 were considered non-compliant. There were 332 and 151 instances respectively where the non-compliance related to a pilot ladder, or the combination of a pilot and accommodation ladder.

There were 192 examples of defects with the steps of the ladder, and 57 instances where the ladder did not lie against the vessel’s hull.