Monday, November 08, 2010

Pilot boarding

First published April 28, 2007

Boarding (or disembarking from) a vessel in the unprotected sea, sometimes without the chance for the vessel to make a lee, is always a risky situation. The pilot boat has to come alongside a moving ship and the pilot will have to climb that rope ladder, taking into consideration the swell that keeps the pilot boat going up and down while alongside and the natural ships motions (specially yawing, pitching and rolling).

There are of course safety procedures to be followed and mandatory rules to be met. These latter are explained in IMO Resolution A889/21 sect. 2, about positioning and construction of pilot ladders. Keep in mind that pilots are required to climb and descend numerous pilot ladders throughout a normal working day, so it is expected that those ladders meet some criteria on their design, otherwise it would be much more dangerous if, for some reason, pilots would meet different space between steps, for example…

In spite of all these regulations and procedures there are, every year, pilots that fall into the water, some with fatal results.

An important poster incorporating IMPA and IMO recommendations(CLICK TO ENLARGE)

1 comment:

reimar said...

Hello again northerly friends,

Speaking of the devil, during the late sixties and early seventies water clerks used to follow the pilots by the commom pilot leader by 06 am specially in passenger ships to make sure that documets and would be suitable to enable passengers to leave the ship as soon the mooring was accomplished about 1 hour later.
The large steamers like the Dunera and similars from British India and
the Aznar's Monte Umbe are still today unforgetable to me due to their almost unfinishing leaders.
Since those days I claim that all and everyone using those leaders to work sould be compelled to use the safety armour to be hold by 2 crewmembers, preventing falls with unspecified injuries or even death.
I really never understood why it has been replaced by helmets which in my opinion may prejudice a better global view.

Regrets and regards,
Reinaldo Delgado