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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Master and Shipping Company Prosecuted For Pilot Ladder Failure

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

April 2, 2024

Source: AMSA

Source: AMSA

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has successfully prosecuted a ship's master and shipping company after a pilot was injured while embarking on a Panama-flagged general cargo ship.

The pilot was attempting to embark the Boshi 58 on May 25, 2023, but was seriously injured when the pilot ladder broke during the transfer.

The Boshi 58's master and the shipping company, Fu Ye Shipping, pled guilty and were fined $5,300 and $32,000 respectively for failing to ensure pilot transfer arrangements complied with the relevant Marine Order and the Navigation Act 2012. 

During court proceedings, it was established that the pilot ladder had not been checked regularly and had been improperly stored, leading to degradation to the extent that it became unsafe.

In June 2023, AAL Dampier Navigation Co Ltd was fined $30,500 for a similar offence.

AMSA Executive Director Operations Michael Drake said these were preventable accidents that placed the lives of seafarers at significant and unacceptable risk. Drake noted common issues with pilot ladders including instances where they have fallen short of accommodation ladders when used in combination, unsafe use of shackles and failure to regularly inspect, maintain and store pilot ladders appropriately.