Singapore pilot ladder accident

SINGAPORE authorities have highlighted the perils of pilot ladder defects after a pilot fell into the sea when a ladder rung snapped.

In a circular to ship owners and managers, the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) related that in a recent incident involving a foreign flagged vessel in Singapore harbour a pilot ladder rung broke while the pilot was trying to board the vessel, causing him to lose his balance and fall into the sea.

Fortunately the pilot was rescued by the pilot boat. The MPA said that investigations revealed that the wooden rung had an inherent defect in the form of a hidden knot and that “over a period of time the tight knot would have weakened the pilot ladder rung causing it to break under the weight of the pilot.”

The MPA urges ship owners and ship managers to bring the contents of IMO Resolution A. 889(21) on Pilot Transfer Arrangements to the attention of their ships crews and suppliers to ensure that IMO recommendations are followed.