Revised Pilot Transfer Arrangements Requirements

Revised requirements covering some safety aspects of pilot transfer arrangements have been introduced through changes to SOLAS Regulation V/23 and apply to “equipment and arrangements for pilot transfer which are installed on or after 1 July 2012”. Although the revised requirements affect primarily new ships, i.e. ships constructed on or after 1 July 2012, or for which the building contract is placed on or after 1 July 2012, some of the requirements also apply to existing ships constructed before 1 July 2012.

The revised requirements for pilot transfer arrangements can be summarized as follows:

  1. Pilot ladders position and construction. The securing strong points, shackles and securing ropes should be at least as strong as the side ropes. The steps of the pilot ladders should comply with specific requirements set out in IMO Resolution A.1045. 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. Pilot ladders with more than five steps should have spreader steps not less than 1.8 m. Permanent marking should be provided at regular intervals in order to facilitate the rigging of the ladder to the required height etc.
  2. Pilot ladders ropes. Ropes r 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. Side ropes should be made of manila or other equivalent material etc.
  3. Arrangements for accommodation ladders used in conjunction with pilot ladders. The length of the accommodation ladder should be sufficient to ensure that its angle of slope does not exceed 45°. The lower platform of the accommodation ladder should be in a horizontal position and secured to the ship’s side when in use. The lower platform should be a minimum of 5 m above sea level. Intermediate platforms, if fitted, should be self-levelling. The ladder and platform should be equipped on both sides with stanchions and rigid handrails (handropes if used should be tight and properly secured) etc.
  4. Use of mechanical pilot hoists is prohibited by SOLAS regulation V/23.
  5. Access to deck. Means should be provided to ensure safe, convenient and unobstructed passage for any person embarking on, or disembarking from, the ship between the head of the pilot ladder, or of any accommodation ladder, and the ship’s deck. IMO Resolution A.1045(27) sets further specific requirements for access to deck.
  6. Approach of the pilot boat.
  7. Installation of pilot ladders winch reel. The point of access to or egress from the ship may be by a ship’s side opening, an accommodation ladder when a combination arrangement is provided, or a single section of pilot ladder. The access position and adjacent area should be clear of obstructions, including the pilot ladder winch reel, for distances as described within IMO Resolution A.1045(27). Specific positioning of pilot ladder winch reels. The pilot ladder winch reel should not be relied upon to support the pilot ladder when the pilot ladder is in useand it should be secured to a strong point, independent of the pilot ladder winch reel.

The term “installed on or after 1 July 2012″ refers to the delivery date for the system to the ship, or if this is not available, the date it was actually delivered to the ship. This does not apply to equipment and arrangements installed on or after 1 July 2012, which represent replacement of equipment and arrangements provided on board existing ships before 1 July 2012.

Finally, IMPA has developed the following poster regarding Pilot Transfer Arrangements in accordance with the relevant IMO regulation.

Sources: IMO Resolution A.1045(27)

Comments

  1. Stewart Taylor says:

    Pilot ladder securing points!

    Can anyone please advise me of the correct procedure for securing pilot ladders?

    IMO states the securing strong points, shackles and securing ropes should be at least as strong as the side ropes, therefore my question is does a pilot ladder require deck bolts or are railings a suitable means of securing a ladder or pipes for that matter?

    Kind regards

    Stewart Taylor

    • Paul Davidson says:

      Railings should not be used for securing pilot ladders. This is because, they are easily damaged and their strength cannot be guaranteed.

  2. Capt. Tapan Connolly Mukherjee - Marine Pilot - Port Kembla, New South Wales, Australia says:

    Interesting – In Australia – MARINE NOTICE 21 SCHEDULE 8. “Ships accommodation ladders should not be used at an angle greater than 55° from the horizontal, unless designed and constructed for use at angles greater than these and marked as such, as required by paragraph 3.5 of MSC.1/Circ.1331

    Notice the reference above limits combination to 45 degrees.
    Arrangements for accommodation ladders used in conjunction with pilot ladders. The length of the accommodation ladder should be sufficient to ensure that its angle of slope does not exceed 45°. The lower platform of the accommodation ladder should be in a horizontal position and secured to the ship’s side when in use. The lower platform should be a minimum of 5 m above sea level. Intermediate platforms, if fitted, should be self-levelling. The ladder and platform should be equipped on both sides with stanchions and rigid handrails (handropes if used should be tight and properly secured) etc.

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