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Having an incorrectly rigged and potentially dangerous pilot ladder can have serious repercussions for a vessel, her owners and charterers. Whilst in the past maritime pilots may have been less safety focussed or willing to turn a blind eye to non-compliant ladders, the issue of safety has evolved in the maritime world and the potential repercussions of such ladders can involve delays, PSC inspections and fines that can have a serious monetary as well as reputational impact upon a ship and her owners. 

As a pilot for 20 years I've climbed and descended my fair share of pilot ladders. Whilst safety has certainly improved in the maritime world pilots still encounter illegal ladders on a frighteningly regular basis. A conservative estimate is that 50% of all current ladder arrangements are incorrect and potentially dangerous.

IMPA and associated national pilot organisations have, in recent years, stepped up their campaigns on incorrect pilot boarding arrangements with theTwitter feed #dangerousladders drawing thousands of examples of poor quality and badly rigged ladders.

As an experienced mariner and senior pilot I believe that these pilot ladders are, in the vast majority of cases, dangerous due to a lack of pilot ladder education rather than due to a disregard of the legislation or safety of the pilot.

Therefore the aim of my company FATHOM SAFETY is to provide definitive, user friendly and clear guidance on the construction, maintenance, inspection, rigging and common issues of pilot boarding arrangements. This is achieved through comprehensive education via an e-learning course supplemented with high quality poster signage to remind crew of the key points to follow when preparing for pilot embarkation or disembarkation.

My aim is to increase the safety for my fellow pilots, reduce incidents and prevent vessels being delayed, facing the additional burden of PSC inspections and the cost impact that these issues cause. 

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