[Answer] Difference Between Pilot Ladders & Embarkation Ladders


The pilot and embarkation ladder are mandatory marine safety equipment on vessels. However, there are some differences between these two ladders. 

Here’s an excerpt from the article explaining the same, published on the T-ISS website.

Pilot Ladders

A Pilot ladder is used by the pilot and crew to get in and out of the vessel. They use the ladder in normal situations. 


Pilot ladders have a spreader, which is different from the embarkation ladder. This spreader makes sure the ladder remains stable. It prevents the ladder from twisting. 


Moreover, the steps of the ladder are made of wood. Except for the lower 4 steps, which are made of rubber. The lower steps are often squeezed between the ship’s side and the pilot boat. Therefore rubber is better suitable.

Embarkation Ladders

During emergencies, the crew uses embarkation ladders. The crew then climbs down the ladder into a liferaft or rescue boat. 

Embarkation ladders need to be on every ship for possible emergencies. This ladder extends from the deck to the waterline. The embarkation ladders can be found at embarkation stations on a vessel.

Magnetic Ladder Locker

A Magnetic ladder locker keeps a ladder in place. It creates a safer environment for staff and harbour pilots. 

The Magnet ladder locker provides safely removable anchor points for the ladder on the ship’s side. The magnets are lightweight for easy handling, yet immensely strong. They provide more than 500 KG of lift & pull ratings. 

The Magnet ladder locker is powder coated in bright orange for high visibility. Also, it is made specifically to withstand the marine environment. The locker has no internal moving parts or entry points for seawater.

The release handle enables the crew to remove the magnet from the hull easily and excessive force is not required. Magnet ladder lockers come in a sturdy wooden storage box, with an IMO-type instruction poster, Storage Location sign, and tightening belts.

Pneumatic Ladder Locker

The Pneumatic ladder locker secures the bottom of the accommodation ladder or gangway to the ship’s side. The locker works with a vacuum pressure supplied from your deck air supply. The locker increases safety on high freeboard vessels.

The Pneumatic ladder locker comes in a sturdy storage box, with IMO type storage sign and instruction poster. The pneumatic ladder locker also includes an air hose connection as a tightening belt. A minimum of 1 HP compressor is powerful enough to supply this system.

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Source: T-iss