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The Bahamas launches a centralized inspection of pilot boarding and disembarking devices

Views:4     Author:Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-07-02      Origin:China Ships

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) announced that it will carry out the Centralized Pilot Inspection (CIC) on all Bahamian ships from July 1 to December 31, 2021.


The Bahamas Maritime Safety Administration stated that in recent times, accident reports issued by various maritime industry organizations show that serious accidents and dangers related to improper pilot boarding and disembarking devices or major defects in related equipment have increased. The root causes of these accidents were mainly due to the use of unqualified and/or modified pilot ladders and combination ladders, unauthorized deck access modifications, use of defective winches and drums, and improperly secured pilot ladders. All of these problems can be attributed to design non-compliance, inappropriate procedures, insufficient maintenance, and/or insufficient pilot training related to boarding and disembarking.


Preparation for Inspection

The Bahamas Maritime Administration gave the following instructions to the captain and shipping company:

1. Companies operating Bahamian ships need to circulate this document in their fleet.

2. The captain of a Bahamian-registered ship needs to resolve the issues raised in the Bahamas Security Alert 21-01 and Information Bulletin 018 at the meeting of the on-board safety committee.

3. At least one training course is also required to improve the crew's understanding of the correct procedures for pilot boarding and disembarking and the inspection requirements for boarding equipment on board. The captain may decide to conduct necessary follow-up training courses at his discretion to ensure that the crew fully understands.

4. The training records signed by the participants must be prepared so that they can be inspected during the annual flag inspection.


Check Item

Part One: Pilot Ladder Structure

1. Is the ladder correctly marked and certified by the manufacturer?

2. If the ladder step is made of hardwood, it should be one piece without knots. (If it is made of materials other than hardwood, the strength should be equivalent to that of hardwood)

3. The lowest four stepped pedals may be made of rubber with sufficient strength and rigidity.

4. All step treads should have an effective non-slip surface.

5. The length of the steps between the side ropes should be no less than 400 mm, width 115 mm, and depth 25 mm, excluding any non-slip coating or grooves.

6. Step treads should be equally spaced, and the spacing should not be less than 310 mm or greater than 350 mm.

7. Fix the steps of the ladder in a way that can ensure that the steps of each step are kept level.

8. There should be no more than 2 replacement ladders provided by the manufacturer on any pilot ladder.

9. Pilot ladders with more than five steps should be regularly installed with anti-torsion pedals of no less than 1.8m to prevent the ladder from twisting and deforming.

10. The lowest anti-twist pedal should be the fifth level from the bottom of the ladder, and the distance between two anti-twist pedals should not exceed nine levels.

11. A permanent mark showing the length of the footstep from the bottom step should be provided at fixed intervals (for example, 1m) on the entire ladder.

12. The side ropes of the pilot ladder should be composed of two bare ropes with a diameter of not less than 18 mm, and should be continuous without joints, and the breaking strength of each rope should be at least 2400 kg.

13. The two side ropes should be composed of a continuous rope, and the middle point of the half length of the rope is located on a grommet. The grommet is large enough to accommodate at least two ropes to pass through.

14. The side rope should be made of Manila paper or other materials with the same strength, durability and extension characteristics.

15. A reasonably designed mechanical fitting device should be used to fix each pair of side ropes together on the upper and lower steps of each step, or use a pedal fixing device (skids or small parts) to tie the side ropes so as to be free on the ladder. When suspended, each step pedal can remain stable.

16. All pilot ladders used for pilots boarding and disembarking should be clearly attached with tags or other permanent markings so as to identify each equipment for investigation, inspection and record keeping.

17. Is there a strength test certificate for ladders that have been used for more than 30 months?

18. Records should be kept on board to confirm the date when the ladder was put into use and any maintenance performed.

19. On all ships, when the distance from sea level to the entrance or exit of the ship exceeds 9m, and a gangway or pilot's mechanical lift or other equally safe and convenient device is to be used together with the pilot ladder for the pilot to board and disembark the ship , This equipment should be installed on each side, unless the equipment can be moved for use on either side.

Part Two: Installation of the pilot ladder

20. The personnel involved in the installation and operation of any mechanical equipment of the pilot ladder shall follow the instructions of the safety procedures to be adopted, and the equipment shall be tested before use.

21. Are there any substances that may be discharged from the ship?

22. Is it within the length of the parallel hull and within half the length of the ship as far as possible?

23. The single length of the pilot ladder should be able to reach the water surface from the entrance or exit of the ship, and sufficient margin should be left for all loading conditions and ship trim and 15° unfavorable heel.

24. Measures shall be provided to ensure safe, convenient and unobstructed passage for anyone who embarks on or disembarks from the top of the pilot ladder or any gangway and the ship deck.

25. The gangway (ie, combined arrangement) should lead to the stern.

26. When using a gangway, measures should be provided to secure the bottom platform of the gangway to the side of the ship to ensure that the bottom end of the gangway and the bottom platform are close to the ship’s side and within the length of the parallel hull.

27. When the pilot board adopts a combined arrangement, measures should be provided to fix the pilot ladder and handrail rope on the ship's side at a nominal 1.5m above the bottom platform of the gangway. If it is a modular arrangement and a gangway with trapdoors on the bottom platform is used, the pilot ladder and handrail rope should be installed through the trapdoor and should extend above the platform to the height of the handrail.

28. When using a combined arrangement, the bottom platform should be at least 5m above sea level.

29. The pilot ladder should be able to be installed within a horizontal distance of 0.1 to 0.2m from the bottom platform.

30. The trapdoor should be opened upwards and fixed on the embarkation platform, or facing the tail of the armrest, or facing the outside of the string on the platform, and should be separated from the armrest.

31. The pilot ladder should be secured at a securing point independent of the winch drum.

32. During the use of the pilot ladder, the winch drum should not be used to support the pilot ladder.

33. All pilot ladder winches should have mechanical devices to prevent accidental operation of the reel due to mechanical failure or human error.

34. If it is deemed necessary to use the recovery rope to ensure the safe erection of the pilot ladder, the rope must be fixed at the last stage of the anti-torsion pedal, or higher than here and forward. The recovery rope should not obstruct the pilot or hinder the approach of the pilot vessel.

35. The pilot ladder is only used for boarding and disembarking of personnel.

Part Three: Related equipment and access to the ship’s deck

36. The strength of the stress points, shackles and securing ropes should be at least the same as the side ropes.

37. If required by the pilot, two handrail ropes with a diameter of not less than 28 mm and not more than 32 mm should be properly fixed on the ship.

38. Before terminating at the ring plate on the deck, the handrail rope should reach the height of the pillar or bulwark leading to the entrance to the deck.

39. Lifebuoy equipped with self-lighting lights.

40. Skimming the rope.

41. Sufficient lighting should be provided to illuminate the overboard embarkation and disembarkation device and the position of the personnel on the deck boarding or disembarking the ship.

42. The person in charge must have a way to communicate with the bridge, and should arrange to escort the pilot in and out of the bridge on a safe route.

43. A bulwark ladder should be installed with two handrail posts. The bottom or near the bottom and another higher point should be fastened to the ship's structure. The bulwark ladder should be firmly fixed to the ship to prevent it from turning over.

44. The side door used for pilot boarding and disembarking shall not be opened outwards.

45. The pilot's mechanical lifter is not used.


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