06-2015: Pilot transfer arrangements and declaration

SOLAS Chapter V, Regulation 23, requires that all shipboard arrangements used for Pilot transfer shall efficiently fulfil their purpose of enabling Pilots to embark and disembark safely. The appliances shall be kept clean, properly maintained and stowed and shall be regularly inspected to ensure that they are safe to use.

The rigging of the ships Pilot transfer arrangements and the embarkation of a Pilot shall be supervised by a responsible Officer having means of communication with the navigation bridge, who shall also arrange for the escort of the Pilot by a safe route to and from the navigation bridge. Personnel engaged in rigging and operating any mechanical equipment shall be instructed in the safe procedures to be adopted and the equipment shall be tested prior to use.

With effect from 0001Hrs UTC on the 1st December 2015, the Masters of all vessels seeking to embark a Pilot at the Haven or Sunk Pilot stations will be required to make or confirm acceptance of the following declaration to Harwich/Sunk Pilots on VHF Channel 09 prior to embarkation process:

‘The Pilot ladder is properly maintained and will be rigged in accordance with SOLAS Regulations’

In the event that defects or deficiencies are noted with respect to the vessels Pilot transfer arrangements, the matter will be reported to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as a Port State Control deficiency. Additionally, the Pilot may decline to embark the vessel resulting in delays to the voyage.

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