Article

Results online survey into the securing methods of pilot ladders


by Herman Broers - published on 5 March 2021 695 -

In december 2020, research was conducted into the securing methods of pilot ladders at intermediate length. Using an online survey, 486 observations have been received from pilots around the world, the majority of which came from Europe (78%).

Conclusions:

It has been shown that a majority (51%) of pilot ladders is secured by means of D-shackles, when secured at intermediate length. Previous research (Evans, 2020) has proven that this method has only about 50% of the strength of the pilot ladder when secured at full length (“double ended ladder”), or by means of the “endless-sling” method.
Rolling hitch knot (7) Pic: capt. Gary Clay
Rolling hitch knot (7) Pic: capt. Gary Clay
Rolling hitch knot (7) Pic: capt. Gary Clay
Rolling hitch knot (7) Pic: capt. Gary Clay
Rolling Hitch Knot (7)

The rolling hitch knot is used in 31% of the observations. When used correctly, this method is rated at only 39% of the strength of the ladder when secured at full length (“double ended ladder”), or by means of the “endless-sling” method.
Test Results of load tests on pilot ladders. From ” Strength of pilot ladders and intermediate securing of pilot ladders” by Evans, troy, 2020, Retrieved on december 1st from: https://underway.nz
Test Results of load tests on pilot ladders. From ” Strength of pilot ladders and intermediate securing of pilot ladders” by Evans, troy, 2020, Retrieved on december 1st from: https://underway.nz
Test Results of load tests on pilot ladders. From ” Strength of pilot ladders and intermediate securing of pilot ladders” by Evans, troy, 2020, Retrieved on december 1st from: https://underway.nz
Test Results of load tests on pilot ladders. From ” Strength of pilot ladders and intermediate securing of pilot ladders” by Evans, troy, 2020, Retrieved on december 1st from: https://underway.nz
There is no correlation between ship’s types or geographical area and the securing methods in use. In other words, all identified methods are in use on all types of ships, worldwide.

The use of D-shackles as a securing method is a very easy, user-friendly securing method for the ship’s crew. Also, many ships have been specifically designed to facilitate this method.

The use of a rolling hitch knot is the most used alternative to the D-shackle. The frequent use of this method is probably caused by the fact that it is being promoted by pilots around the world, in publications and on social media. It is considered the least harmful method of securing to the integrity of the pilot ladder.

From the survey, no relationship could be established between securing method and ship type or securing method and geographical area. In other words, all securing methods are in use on every ship type, worldwide.

Discussion

The two most frequently used methods of securing pilots at intermediate length are either demonstrably weaker than the total strength of the pilot ladder or are considered harmful to the integrity of the pilot ladder itself. There is no legislation or standard of a securing method which is both of equal strength of the ladder, and harmless for the ladder’s structural integrity.

Without accident statistics it is hard to describe the present-day practice of securing pilot ladders at intermediate length as “unsafe”. This research however shows that the most used methods of securing are not the most effective with regards to strength and the integrity of the pilot ladder.

The nature of the embarkation and disembarkation is a critical process, meaning that serious injury or fatalities are the likely outcome as the result of accidents involving pilot ladders.

The fact that there is no proven design for the securing of a pilot ladder at intermediate length in a safe, convenient manner calls for innovative solutions to the ever-present danger of breaking of failing pilot ladders.

Recommendations:

This report should serve as a reminder to maritime pilots, legislator and other stakeholders in the maritime industry that an industry wide problem exists: the regulatory gap regarding pilot ladders which are secured at intermediate length. Much work needs to be done to improve this situation.

  • The research conducted in this survey should be repeated regularly to identify trends and changes in the securing methods used for pilot ladders at intermediate length. IMPA could play an important role if they are willing to incorporate this research into their annual safety survey.
  • A new innovative securing method for pilot ladders at intermediate length should be developed, Ideally, this process should involve ship designers, ship owners, pilot ladder manufacturers as well as maritime pilots. The design of the pilot ladder itself must be subject for reconsideration if needed.
  • An industry standard should be developed regarding the securing of pilot ladders at intermediate length, involving all relevant stakeholders in the maritime industry.
  • A global database on pilot ladder incidents, accidents and near-miss database should be developed in order to generate much needed management information which can be used to improve safety of pilot ladders in general.

Afterword

I want to thank all maritime pilots from around the world who have contributed to this survey by sending in their observations. Also, all colleagues who work tirelessly to improve pilot ladders safety on a daily basis should be commended.

If you have any questions on this subject, or want more information on this survey, please contact me on info@pilotladdersafety.com


Stay Safe,
Herman Broers
Unlimited License Maritime Pilot, Port of Rotterdam. Pilot ladder safety, active marine pilot - Loodswezen Rotterdam - Rijnmond


Maritime Pilot in port of Rotterdam, Author of www.pilotladdersafety.com
What's your opinion on this?
Login or register to write comments and join the discussion!
Read more...

Opinion Online survey: Securing methods of pilot ladders at intermediate length

by Herman Broers - published on 7 December 2020

Recently Capt. Troy Evans did a research into the breaking strength of various securing methods. To quantify the problem of unsafe practices, now is time to have a survey into the number of the various securing methods used worldwide.

0

Article Marking, Certification of Pilot Ladders

by Herman Broers - published on 5 January 2021

The name tag plate on this ladder displays a few important items that can be cross referenced with the certificate: Type, Model, Length, Production date, as well as the serial number (Prod.No) and the approval standard.

1

Article IMPA Safety Campaign Analysis 2016-2020

by Herman Broers - published on 6 January 2021

The IMPA safety campaign on pilot ladders has run for a long time now. In this document the results of the IMPA safety campaign have been analyzed from 2016 to 2020.

0

Article Pilot boat "Sainte-Honorine" christened in Le Havre

by L'Antenne - SPI - published on 14 October 2021

The pilot station Le Havre-Antifer-Fécamp christened, on October 7 in Le Havre, the "Sainte-Honorine", the sixth launch of its fleet.

0

Article EMPA Newsletter issue 003

by EMPA - European Maritime Pilots' Association - published on 6 January 2022

The European Maritime Pilot´s Association has released the new Newsletter issue 003/2022.

1

Article New website online: Port Phillip Sea Pilots

by Marine-Pilots.com - published on 23 October 2020

Port Phillip Sea Pilots now have their new website online. The result is impressive. Well done!

0

Article The International Pilot - Issue Number 48 / July 2020

by IMPA - International Maritime Pilots’ Association - published on 22 December 2021

The Journal of the international Maritime Pilots´ Association

0

Video Saab’s Port Management app streamlines Pilot operations at Flinders Ports, Australia

published on 17 August 2021

Have a look inside Flinders Ports, the gateway of trade to South Australia. Pilotage operations have become much more complex, with more and larger ships coming in. With Pilot Control Flinders Ports streamline their pilotage operations – saving them time, raising operating efficiency and ensuring safety as changes can be managed at their fingertips. Visit our homepage: https://goo.gl/bWJr3i Follow Saab on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/saabtechnologies/ Follow Saab on Twitter: https://...

0

Video 75ª Assemblea Nazionale Fedepiloti

published on 18 April 2022

Found on YouTube. Created by "FEDERAZIONE ITALIANA PILOTI DEI PORTI".

0

Video Ship Bridge VR Simulator

published on 6 July 2021

A look into the future of the ship's bridge with new technologies.

1