Boarding Using Other Means than Gangways May be Dangerous


The MSF published safety alert regarding reports of individuals unsafe boarding vessels by means other than via the gangway. It has been noticed that there are a number of similarities between the incidents experienced;

  • Individuals doing this are not ship’s crew.
  • Takes place when the vessel is either preparing to sail or is coming alongside.
  • No gangway out at the time.
  • Individuals jump aboard through open ship side doors.


During an incident a surveyor from a classification society boarded the vessel whilst it was still being made fast, having just come alongside. The side door had been open to facilitate monitoring of the launch and recovery of the rescue boat for survey purposes, however, the safety chain was across the space.

The surveyor removed the chain and jumped from the quayside onto the ship. The aft mooring station had only just confirmed the vessel was all fast to the bridge and the engines and thrusters were still running when the incident occurred.


All vessels are requested to;

  • Report any further instances to their QHSE department.
  • Ensure that ships side doors/pilot doors are kept closed when not in use.
  • Ensure the doors are only open when needed, a chain should be placed across the doorway with a sign stating no entry whilst not immediately ready for use.

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Source: Marine Safety Forum


  1. Dear Sir/Mdm
    The title is a little misleading. When vessel is at anchorage the safer way to board is actually by pilot ladder. The transfer from launch to properly setup gangway can be more dangerous pending on weather conditions. Hence the title suggested maybe “Boarding Using Other Means than Gangways May be Dangerous when vessel is berth”.


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