Commercial Vessel Compliance

11/10/2014: Safety alert – Problems with pilot ladder magnetic securing devices

The Coast Guard issued marine safety alert 14-14 to raise awareness of the importance of not modifying equipment or components from their intended design or operation. Recently, a State Pilot suffered a concussion as he was boarding a vessel via its pilot ladder. The primary cause of the accident was an improperly modified embarkation ladder hull magnet that disconnected from the ship’s hull and struck the Pilot on the head. Additional incidents with injuries have occurred on other vessels at several different ports. In each of those instances the hull magnets were modified prior to the accident.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that vessel owners/operators refrain from modifying embarkation equipment. In addition, operators should regularly inspect existing vessel boarding equipment and return improper modifications back to the manufacturer’s original design. Pilots are encouraged to consult with their appropriate associations to determine if any additional precautions should be taken as part of their normal boarding practices and this identified risk.

View the full marine safety alert for full details.

This blog is not a replacement or substitute for the formal posting of regulations and updates or existing processes for receiving formal feedback of the same. Links provided on this blog will direct the reader to official source documents, such as the Federal Register, Homeport and the Code of Federal Regulations. These documents remain the official source for regulatory information published by the Coast Guard.