Text and picture by Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)
The MAIB’s Annual Report published in June highlighted the issue of unsafe pilot ladders, a concern that has been regularly voiced by the industry. In 2021, the branch received almost 200 reports about substandard pilot ladders. Of those, 87% of the ladders were rigged incorrectly (top image) and the remainder were observed by the marine pilot as being materially defective (Figure 1). Fortunately, serious accidents have been rare, but the potential for injury and even loss of life clearly exists.
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