Tag Archives: seamanship

The Pilot ladders and accommodation The Pilot ladder-Accommodation ladder combination

Pilot boat bowA handy revision guide to pilot boarding specifications

This series of posts based on SOLAS V continues to explore some of the details behind Regulation 23, Pilot Transfer arrangements. This time exploring the specifications within Resolution A.1045(27) covering combined accommodation ladder/Pilot ladder arrangements.

Why would a combined arrangement be required?

In accordance with SOLAS V an accommodation ladder shall be used in conjunction with the pilot ladder, or other equally safe and convenient means, whenever the distance from the surface of the water to the point of access to the ship is more than 9 m.

The IMO Resolution A.1045(27) contains the specializations for pilot transfer arrangements. This is available online from the IMO. Click here to download>

Accommodation ladders, together with any suspension arrangements or attachments
fitted and intended for use in accordance with this recommendation, should be to the
satisfaction of the flag state.

Angles

  • The length of the accommodation ladder should be sufficient to ensure that its angle of slope does not exceed 45°
  • In ships with large draft ranges, several pilot ladder hanging positions may be provided, resulting in lesser angles of slope
  • The lower platform of the accommodation ladder should be in a horizontal position
    and secured to the ship’s side when in use
  • Intermediate platforms, if fitted, should be self-levelling
  • Treads and steps of the accommodation ladder should be so designed that an adequate and safe foothold is given at the operative angles.

Dimensions

  • The accommodation ladder should be at least 600 mm in width.
    The lower platform should be a minimum of 5m above sea level
  • The pilot ladder should be rigged immediately adjacent to the lower platform of the
    accommodation ladder and the upper end should extend at least 2 m above the lower platform
  • The horizontal distance between the pilot ladder and the lower platform should be between 0.1 and 0.2 m

Fittings

  • The ladder and platform should be equipped on both sides with stanchions and rigid
    handrails, but if handropes are used they should be tight and properly secured
  • The vertical space between the handrail or handrope and the stringers of the ladder should be securely fenced.
  • If a trapdoor is fitted in the lower platform to allow access from and to the pilot
    ladder, the aperture should not be less than 750 mm x 750 mm
  • The trapdoor should open upwards and be secured either flat on the embarkation platform or against the rails at the aft end or outboard side of the platform and should not form part of the handholds

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Pilot ladders- a quick guide to their specifications

PilotName

The last post covered the pilot boarding arrangements required by SOLAS V, this post delves a bit deeper into the detail with a summary of some of the specifications and dimensions of pilot ladders.

Where can the requirements for pilot ladders be found?

The IMO Resolution A.1045(27) contains the specializations for pilot ladders. This is available online from the IMO. Click here to download>

ISO 799:2004, Ships and marine technology – Pilot ladders

SOLAS also requires compliance with this International Standards Orginisation standard.

“ISO 799:2004 specifies requirements for a ship’s pilot ladder which is provided to enable a maritime pilot to embark and disembark a ship safely along a vertical portion of the ship’s hull. It is applicable to merchant ships which embark and disembark maritime pilots with the ship underway. National maritime safety administrations are urged to accept ladders complying with ISO 799:2004 on their ships, as complying fully with the requirements of the 1974 International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), as amended.” ISO Website

Click here for a summary of the standard on the ISO website> 

Click here to buy ISO 799:2004 on Amazon>

What are the requirements of Pilot Ladder steps?

Material

  • If made of hardwood, they should be made in one piece, free of knots
  • If made of material other than hardwood, they should be of equivalent strength, stiffness and durability to the satisfaction of the Administration
  • The four lowest steps may be of rubber of sufficient strength and stiffness or other material to the satisfaction of the Administration
  • They should have an efficient non-slip surface

Dimensions

  • They should be not less than 400 mm between the side ropes, 115 mm wide and 25 mm in depth, excluding any non-slip device or grooving
  • They should be equally spaced not less than 310 mm or more than 350 mm apart
  • They should be secured in such a manner that each will remain horizontal

Replacement steps

  • No pilot ladder should have more than two replacement steps which are secured in position by a method different from that used in the original construction of the ladder
  •  Any steps so secured should be replaced as soon as reasonably practicable by steps secured in position by the method used in the original construction of the pilot ladder
  •  When any replacement step is secured to the side ropes of the pilot ladder by means of grooves in the sides of the step, such grooves should be in the longer sides of the step

Spreaders

  • Pilot ladders with more than five steps should have spreader steps not less than 1.8 m long provided at such intervals as will prevent the pilot ladder from twisting
  • The lowest spreader step should be the fifth step from the bottom of the ladder and the interval between any spreader step and the next should not exceed nine steps

What are the requirements for pilot ladder ropes and lines?

Retrieval line

  • When a retrieval line is considered necessary, the line should be fastened at or above the last spreader step and should lead forward. The retrieval line should not hinder the pilot nor obstruct the safe approach of the pilot boat
  • A permanent marking should be provided at regular intervals  throughout the length of the ladder in order to assist in the rigging of the ladder to the required height

Ropes

  • The side ropes of the pilot ladder should consist of two uncovered ropes not less than 18 mm in diameter on each side and should be continuous, with no joints and have a breaking strength of at least 24 Kilo Newtons per side rope
  •  The two side ropes should each consist of one continuous length of rope, the midpoint half-length being located on a thimble large enough to accommodate at least two passes of side rope
  • Side ropes should be made of manila or other material of equivalent strength, durability, elongation characteristics and grip which has been protected against  degradation and is satisfactory to the Administration
  •  Each pair of side ropes should be secured together both above and below each step with a mechanical clamping device properly designed for this purpose, or seizing method with step fixtures (chocks or widgets), which holds each step level when the ladder is hanging freely. The preferred method is seizing

 

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Top 10 MGNs- Seamanship

UK M notices with a seamanship theme.

UK Marine Notices  (MGNs and MSNs) are excellent sources of information for anyone studying for Officer of Watch, Chief Mate and Master’s examinations, even for those not sailing under the British flag. Here are the top ten of the Notices with a seamanship theme; lifeboats have been covered in the previous post.

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UK Marine Notices  (MGNs and MSNs) are excellent sources of information for anyone studying for Officer of Watch, Chief Mate and Master’s examinations, even for those not sailing under the British flag. Here are the top ten of the Notices covering the subject of seamanship. Lifeboats and LSA have been covered  previous posts.

1. MGN 332 (M+F) -The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment) Regulations 2006

2. MGN 308 (M+F) – Mooring, Towing or Hauling Equipment on all Vessels – Safe Installation and Safe Operation

3. MGN 410 (M+F) – The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) (Work at Height) Regulations 2010 

4. MGN 533 (M) – Means of Access

5. MGN 432 (M+F) – Safety during Transfers of Persons to and from Ships

6. MGN 353 (M+F) – The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Control of Vibration at Work) Regulations 2007

7. MGN 378 (M+F) – Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Provision and Use of Work Equipment) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 and Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment) (Amendment) Regulations 2008

8 .MGN 352 (M+F) – The Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Control of Noise at Work) Regulations 2007

9.MGN 473 (M+F) – Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Health and Safety at Work) (Employment of Young Persons) Regulations 1998: Implementation of EC Directive 94/33/EC

10.MSN 1862 (M) – UK Requirements for Deck Ratings

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