[FAQ] How To Ensure Safe Rigging for Pilots?

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SOLAS Chapter V, Regulation 23 sets out the principal requirements for the rigging of pilot ladders, reports Safety4sea.

Technical specification for pilot ladders

These provisions are also set out in the IMO/IMPA Required Boarding Arrangements for Pilot poster, featured ICS/IMPA Shipping Industry Guidance on Pilot Transfer Arrangements.

The detailed technical specification for pilot ladders can be found in IMO Resolution A.1045(27). In the ICS/IMPA Guidance, it is highlighted that shipping companies have a legal obligation to provide a conforming ladder and ship-borne fittings.

If seafarers are uncertain about any of the requirements, they should always ask their supervising officer for advice. Seafarers should always check the condition of the ladder before it is rigged and ensure it is secured to the ship. While this is done, seafarers should always take care of their own safety, wearing all appropriate PPE (a life jacket and lifeline if necessary).

Points to remember

  • The rigging of the pilot transfer arrangements and the embarkation of a pilot shall be supervised by a responsible officer
  • The officer shall have means of communication with the navigation bridge and also arrange for the escort of the pilot by a safe route to and from the navigation bridge.
  • Personnel engaged in rigging and operating any mechanical equipment shall be instructed in the safe procedures to be adopted
  • Any equipment shall be tested prior to use.

Best Practices : Key responsibilities for shipping companies

  • All ladders to be SOLAS compliant
  • The inspection regime and records to be adequate and maintained
  • Replacement ladders to be quickly and readily available on board
  • Seafarers involved to receive the necessary training and have a full understanding of the requirements

Best Practices : Key responsibilities for Master and officers

  • Closely supervise the rigging of pilot ladders
  • Closely observe the boarding and disembarkation of pilots from ladders, ensuring that SOLAS requirements are met
  • Maintain a lee until the pilot vessel is well clear

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Source: Safety4sea

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