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Pilot Transfer Arrangements


The principal documents relating to the specification and rigging of pilots ladders are: • SOLAS Chapter V: Safety of Navigation – Regulation 23, Pilot Transfer Arrangements. In general, this regulation deals with the ship borne side of matters and attendance on the Pilot by the crew. • IMO Resolution A1045 (27). This is reprinted in full at Annex II(in English, French and Spanish). Broadly speaking this deals with the general dimensional issues. • ISO 799: Ships and Marine Technology – Pilot Ladders. This document amplifies the earlier IMO Resolution A889 by giving engineering specifications for the construction of ladders. It is not possible to reproduce this document for copyright reasons. It will be of interest mainly to ladder manufacturers. • MSC Circular MSC.1/Circ.1428 introduced the IMO Ladder Poster “Required Boarding Arrangements for Pilot”: The poster is reproduced at the back cover of this booklet and the text of circular MSC.1/Circ.1428 is attached at Annex III.

Some Common Problems
• 1. A Pilot Ladder has to lay against the side of the ship (SOLAS Chapter 5, Regulation 23,

A Pilot Ladder must be rigged “within the parallel body length of the ship and, as far as is practicable, within the midship half length of the ship”. There is a trend in recently built ships to place the pilot ladder aft on the quarter – See picture below. This creates a dangerous situation for pilot boats for the following reasons: • – When the pilot boat must operate in the low pressure area of a ship’s quarter, it is sucked in for hard landings. • – Once alongside, it is difficult to separate from the ship after pilot transfer. • – Operating the pilot boat near a ship’s quarter exposes the boat to being drawn under the counter. • – When boarding ships at sea, the pilot boat will surge fore and aft as it works a ladder in the ocean swell. When the ladder is rigged aft, the boat does not have a length of flat ship side to work against and is exposed to the suction at the quarter and the hazards of the counter. • Pilot boats have been placed in extremis on occasions when a ship’s master, in haste to depart, has put his rudder over and increased speed after the pilot has transferred but before the boat has cleared away. With the ladder too far aft, the pilot boat has been pinned alongside as the ship turns away from the lee and accelerates. • Hazards at the quarter increase as weather worsens. • Rigging the pilot ladder at the mid-length of the ship would eliminate all the dangerous conditions listed above.

• When the ladder is used in “combination” with an accommodation ladder it is desirable that the accommodation ladder has a proper lashing point for use to secure it to the vessel’s hull. Simply using a stanchion, which could be hinged or fit in a socket, is not ideal.

Pilot Transfer Arrangements

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Risk assesment All the risks involved – y / n Location for pilot ladder Pilot boarding arrangement Pilot boarding area Pilot on board Signal Officer in charge

ASSESMENT (7.13.06)
Tasks Has risk assesment been carried out? Location of the pilot ladder? What is the boarding arrangement (pilot ladder or combination ladder?) Has sufficient light been provided at night not hindering safe navigation? Is a man rope available? Is there a heaving line or tripping line available? Is the area clear of obstructions? Competent (c) Incompetent (i)

Tasks Has the pilot area been clearly marked & identified? Has the proper pilot signal been displayed(flag / light)? Has the OOW been on the ladder and checked it personally?

Competen t (c)

Incompe tent (i)

Is the lifebuoy with light & line available at the pilot ladder? Is the pilot ladder rope and line clear of any oily or grease?
Is the area clear of any oil or cargo residues?