Already a few years ago, the fishery-inspection vessel of a European country wanted to conduct an inspection at sea of a fishing vessel. The fishing vessel was ordered to prepare a pilot ladder to allow the inspector to board the vessel.
When the inspector attempted to board the fishing vessel, both side ropes snapped simultaneously, and the inspector could barely prevent himself from falling into the water. Should he have fallen onto the launch backwards, he might have suffered long lasting physical damage.
- Side ropes snapped simultaneously due to wear and tear
- Side ropes were partly cut
The captain of the fishing vessel had to answer to court following these conclusions. The defendant claimed that the ladder had been damaged due to a collision between the launch used for inspection and the pilot ladder. The court however did not agree on this statement, and followed the conclusions of the examining laboratory. The court sentenced the captain to a sentence of 30 months imprisonment in total. In the verdict the judge stated: it has been proven without reasonable doubt, that the defendant had manipulated the side ropes to hamper or prevent inspection. The defendant had, according to the court, a plausible interest by hampering or preventing inspection.
The inspector who suffered this accident, has not inspected any ships since the incident due to the mental trauma he suffered, and he has been assigned to other duties within the ministry. Again, we see that accidents on ladders can be very traumatically and can lead to long lasting physical and mental consequences.