Rope snapped: Marine Pilot accident in Durban, South Africa.

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

Rope snapped: Marine Pilot accident in Durban, South Africa.
photo and text by NSRI - Sea Rescue South Africa

A 35-year-old male maritime pilot of the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) fell into the sea from a crude oil tanker near the N Shed Wharf in the port of Durban. A rope of the pilot ladder is said to have snapped for an undetermined reason when the man disembarked while leaving the crude oil tanker which was leaving the port of Durban.

Jonathan Kellerman, NSRI Durban station commander, said:

At 07h45, Tuesday, 28th April, NSRI Durban duty crew were activated by Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports of a 35 year old male TNPA ships Pilot fallen into the sea off a crude oil tanker in the vicinity of N Shed Wharf in the Port of Durban. A securing rope on a rope ladder reportedly severed from undetermined causes while the man was disembarking from the crude oil tanker that was under sail departing the Port of Durban.

NSRI Durban duty crew responded to prepare to launch a sea rescue craft and Police Search and Rescue (S&R), Metro Police Search and Rescue (S&R) and Life Healthcare response paramedics were activated and responded.

In an effort to avoid injury to the man, the Pilot vessel Lufafa, veered away from the ship when the incident occurred allowing him space to push away from the ship and swim free from the ship’s draft in an effort to avoid being sucked into the ship’s propellors.

The Pilot vessel Lufafa went to his rescue and he was recovered and brought to T Jetty where they were met by Police S&R, Metro Police S&R and Life Healthcare paramedics.

He was treated for mild hypothermia and as a precaution, has been transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition for further medical evaluation and medical care and is expected to fully recover.

The immediate reaction of the skipper and crew of the Pilot vessel Lufafa and the calm and deliberate actions taken by the casualty after he fell into the water contributed to his survival and they are commended.

The incident will be investigated by authorities.




About NSRI:
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the charity that saves lives on South African waters. Our goal is to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives.

Operating from base stations along the SA coastline, and on inland dams, our rescue volunteers are on call, at all hours, every day of the year. Our rescue crew receive no payment and neither do we charge the people we rescue. We visit schools around the country teaching children about water safety. Drowning prevention measures include our online training academy, with free courses for crew and the public, emergency signage, Pink Rescue Buoys for emergency flotation, rescue swimmers, lifeguards and active patrols during peak seasons.

Our organisation is totally reliant on donations and sponsorships. This enables us to do the work of saving lives, changing lives and creating futures.
original text by NSRI
Transnet National Ports Authority
What's your opinion on this?
Be the first to comment...
Login or register to view comments and join the discussion!
Read more...

Video How not to climb down a Pilot Ladder

The video was found on some social media channels in June 2020.

When so many elementary mistakes are made and so many risks are taken, this is exactly what can happen!

It's a demonstrative example of an unprofessional action:
1) Where is the life jacket?
2) No backpack on the shoulders. Use a rope to have the backpack lifted by the deck crew.
3) Where is the rest of the crew (on vessel / on the small boat) for safe assistance?

What other mistakes have you discovered?

We do not put videos of accidents on our website out of voyeurism. We would like to point out that the work of a pilot or a seafarer is always dangerous, especially when embarking and disembarking!
These incidents should be a warning. It can hit anyone out of carelessness.
Dear people, please always be mindful and always think of your safety!
We hope no one was seriously injured.

Article The scariest 15 minutes of my life

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

An authentic report by Marine Pilot Capt. Agha Umar Habib (Port of Sohar, Oman) about a dramatic incident on July 23, 2019.

Article In Memoriam of Captain Dennis R. Sherwood (1955 - 2019)

by Bianca Reineke, lutheran Pastor, Germany - published

Ladders are the bridges for crossing the rough seas of our lives.
When you are a Marine Pilot at work, hoping and praying that the ladders which let you embark the vessel are stable, safe and not dangerous.
In Memoriam of the late Captain Dennis Sherwood who passed away on Monday the 30th of December.

Video Transfer Of Marine Pilots At Sea

This video briefly describes the special operation of transfer of marine pilots at sea

Video How a pilot gets off a fairly large ship

Departing a 159,000 tonne 274 metre long tanker at the Humber Pilot station

Article Pilot Transfer Arrangements

by Captain Kevin Vallance MNI - published

Most pilot embarkations and disembarkations around the world, are still carried out using a traditional pilot ladder, consisting of wooden steps supported and secured by side ropes.

Article Request from the American Pilots’ Association to State Pilotage Authorities Regarding Pilot Safety

by Marine-Pilots.com - published

The American Pilots’ Association has sent a letter to state pilotage authorities across the United States on behalf of approximately 1,200 American ship pilots to improve safety pilot safety following the death of a New York pilot in December.

Article German pilots establish the "Pilot Information Assistant - PIA" project

by Ship&Offshore DVV Media Group - published

The PIA project of German pilots is a great maritime success story and ensures greater safety and efficiency on German shipping routes. Thus, with no exceptions, all of the approx. 890 German maritime and port traffic controllers could be gathered for use of the PIA system and its PPU.

Video Port of Stockton: River Pilots

The San Francisco Bar Pilots are one of the important cogs in our supply chain wheel. They are tasked with boarding the vessels eleven miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge via a rope ladder often in rough seas and taking control of the vessels en route to the Port of Stockton. Once on the bridge of the ship, the Pilot oversees navigation and ensures the safe passage of ships into the Bay and through the Delta until it is secured alongside its berth at the Port. Without these Pilots the Port could not perform its mission to provide jobs and economic stability for the region. Within the larger San Francisco Bar Pilots Association there is a smaller subdivision that is approved to take vessels all the way to the Port of Stockton. They are called the River Pilots and this is their story…