03-2020: Pilot transfer arrangements

You are reminded of our requirement that all pilot transfer arrangements be made in accordance with SOLAS regulations and IMO guidance. Your attention is drawn to the IMO/ IMPA “REQUIRED BOARDING ARRANGEMENTS FOR PILOT” poster.

Our pilot launch Coxswains and Pilots are instructed not to transfer if the arrangements are found not in accordance with the above requirements or if circumstances are not considered safe.

Any vessel not complying with SOLAS regulations/ IMO guidance shall only be permitted to transfer following a Risk Assessment of the vessel’s arrangements (e.g. Tugs, RoRo ferries, etc.).

Requirements for ‘trapdoor’ arrangements

For vessels constructed on or after 01/07/2012:

Solas Ch.V/Reg 23

3.3.2.1

when a combination arrangement is used for pilot access, means shall be provided to secure the pilot ladder and manropes to the ship’s side at a point of nominally 1.5 m above the bottom platform of the accommodation ladder. In the case of a combination arrangement using an accommodation ladder with a trapdoor in the bottom platform (i.e. embarkation platform), the pilot ladder and man ropes shall be rigged through the trapdoor extending above the platform to the height of the handrail.

For vessels constructed on or after 01/07/2002, but before 01/07/2012:

Solas Ch.V/Reg 23.4

Access to the ship’s deck

Means shall be provided to ensure safe, convenient and unobstructed passage for any person embarking on, or disembarking from, the ship between the head of the pilot ladder, or of any accommodation ladder or other appliance, and the ship’s deck.

Res.A.889(21) / Annex 3.7

If a trapdoor is fitted in the lower platform to allow access from and to the pilot ladder, the aperture should not be less than 750 mm x 750 mm. In this case the after part of the lower platform should also be fenced as specified in paragraph 3.5 above, and the pilot ladder should extend above the lower platform to the height of the handrail.

For vessels constructed on or after 01/01/1994, but before 01/07/2002:

Solas Ch.V / Reg. 17

(d) Access to the ship’s deck / Means shall be provided to ensure safe, convenient and unobstructed passage for any person embarking on, or disembarking from, the ship between the head of the pilot ladder, or of any accommodation ladder or other appliance, and the ship’s deck.

 Res.A.667(16)

Annex 3.8 If a trapdoor is fitted in the lower platform to allow access from and to the pilot ladder, the aperture should not be less than 750 mm × 750 mm. In this case the after part of the lower platform should also be fenced as specified in paragraph 3.5 above, and the pilot ladder should extend above the lower platform to the height of the handrail.

Illustrative examples of incorrect trapdoor arrangements can be viewed on the PDF version:

Download the PDF version