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Pilot-Ladders-Safe-Rigging-Procedures

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An important and potentially dangerous operation at sea is the transfer of a ship's pilot or other visitor onto a moving vessel. When pilots come aboard ships it is to help seafarers during critical and demanding phases of a voyage. It is incumbent upon ship operators and their crews to do everything possible to ensure safety during pilot transfer operations, which always involve a degree of risk, even when conditions are good. Some common causes of accidents still appear to be defects in the structure of the ladder treads or ropes, or a lack of proper securing of the ladder to the ship. The transfer requires good communication between crew members and the pilot boat, a safe and properly rigged pilot ladder, a well-trained and alert crew, and sound judgment of the conditions and the timing. When the boat comes alongside the ship, that transfer must be done safely, and there have been people lost in pile edged grounds all around the world, and including Port Angeles, here. And so safety on the pilot ladder is something we take very seriously. In this program, we'll cover proper crew procedures, the care, maintenance, and proper condition for pilot ladders, rigging the ladder appropriately, proper procedures for embarking and debarking using a pilot ladder, and relevant new regulations that apply specifically to pilot ladder and personnel transfers. During transfers at sea crew members must work in coordination, and make sure their procedures and equipment are ship shape. The most common accidents during transfers involve the pilot ladder. If there are defects in the wooden treads or in manila side ropes, the ladder can fail. And an improperly secured ladder can risk the life of the pilot or visitor attempting to make the transfer. A few years ago, I was asked to be an extra captain on a ship leaving Seattle to the pilot station, in addition to the pilot. They just wanted to have a US, officer on board this ship as well. And I agreed-- We talked to Captain Kelly Sweeney, who is a Master Mariner and a successful writer. He has worked on almost all types of ocean-going ships and tugs. Over his more than two decades at sea, he has seen what can go right and what can go wrong in a pilot transfer operation. --pilot ladder. And what I saw-- I couldn't believe it. I was very disappointed, and very concerned. The ladder was poorly secured with a line that was frayed and I was of the belief that it wasn't going to be strong enough to hold a person and the ladder. The two major causes of transfer ladder accidents are, defects in the ladders treads or side ropes, and the ship's crew's failure to attach the ladder properly to the outside of the vessel itself. Pilot ladders should be inspected periodically. They should be protected from exposure to salt, rain, and water when not in use. And there should always be a back-up ladder available, should the ladder fail inspection. The ladder's treads should be perfectly horizontal, and the distance between them standard. Before this regulation change, the spread could be further or closer together, so when we get on a ladder now, we can expect the same kind of spacing from one ship to the next. The side ropes must be evenly spaced, as well, and of high quality cordage, with no repairs, such as knots, splices, or shackles, that could inhibit movement. The spreaders or battens-- which help keep the ladder from twisting and hold it against the side of the ship-- must be rigged according to IMO specifications. Crews and officers must be trained in proper procedures before they ever attempt an actual transfer at sea. They Begin with proper techniques and becoming familiar with the equipment needed to make a successful transfer. Ship's crews need to know that pilots can decline to board a ship that deploys a defective ladder. That can result in serious delays in the ship reaching port. Recently, SOLAS and IMO regulations have been changed to implement safer standards for pilot ladder rigging, especially in newly constructed ships. This poster-- issued by the International Maritime Pilots Association illustrates the safety procedures required by the new SOLAS regulations, such as securely attaching the accommodation ladder to the side of the ship, using iPads, magnetic or pneumatic systems, and attaching the pilot ladder itself to the ship 1.5 meters above the accommodation ladder platform. For ships built prior to 2012 SOLAS recommends a series of improvements, including banning the use of mechanical pilot hoists. The transfer process begins with communication. The pilot boat and ship decide on which side of the ship the transfer will take place, the elevation of the ladder above the water, and what course and speed the vessel takes during the procedure. Crew members are responsible for the inspection and maintenance of their transfer equipment, including the condition of the ladder itself, having a life ring available, ensuring that there is proper light for nighttime transfer, a heaving line to hoist equipment on board, and radio communication with the bridge. After the crew has made any necessary repairs to the pilot ladder, it can be deployed down the side of the ship. An accommodation ladder should be used if there is more than nine metres of free-board. The length of the accommodation ladder should be sufficient to ensure that its angle of slope does not exceed 45 degrees. The lower platform-- of the accommodation ladder-- should be in a horizontal position, and secured to the ship's side. Once the pilot ladder is lowered to the proper length, it is shackled to the deck, and a crew member checks that the ladder is safe for use. The ship's crew can now inform the pilot boat that all ladders are ready for embarkation or disembarkation by the pilot. There are times when we go out to get on a ship and the ladder is not the proper height, so we need them to adjust the height. And once they adjust the height, we know they've unsecured it and we wait until they give us a hand signal that it is access secured again. So if you actually see a guy get out on a ladder, that's really beneficial. If one of the crew members is going to go ahead and step out there and they go ahead, they get out on it, and they give it a good-- they rock the ladder, a little bit. That way you know that that first step you take on that ladder-- you're not going anywhere. During the transfer itself, the pilot boat pulls alongside the vessel, and at the appropriate moment, the pilot or visitor steps onto and climbs the ladder. A heaving line is lowered to hoist any additional gear to be brought on board. Pilots must wear a life jacket or a life coat, and keep both hands free, not carrying additional gear that should be hoisted by the crew. Weather and sea conditions can vary greatly, so always make sure the ladder is not set too low, so as to avoid catching under the gunnels or on fendering. Leaving the climber unencumbered, crew members should assist the climber in any way possible, including keeping the deck clear of debris that could cause tripping or other accidents topside. And when the transfer is finished, the ladder is withdrawn and stowed. There are IMO and Port State regulations regarding safe transfers which must be obeyed, and violations will be reported. A well trained and aware crew will make transfers a safe and efficient process.

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Duration: 9 minutes and 45 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 6
Posted by: maritimetraining on Feb 8, 2017

Pilot-Ladders-Safe-Rigging-Procedures

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