202317 Pilot ladder crimp glitch

24 Mar 2023 MARS

During a regular crew inspection of lifesaving and other equipment it was found that both pilot ladders had sustained damage on the side and on the top part of the manilla side ropes.

The ladders had been in service for only six months, and were stowed on the pilot ladder reel. The damage is believed to have been caused by the mechanical crimping which is used in place of rope seizing to secure the steps when the ladders are rolled onto the ladder reel. Similar ladders which had been stowed on deck were not reported damaged.

The company investigation found that in addition to causing undue wear/chafing of manila ropes, the use of crimps to secure the steps may cause twisting in the side ropes. This in turn can inhibit grip.


Lessons learned

  • It is of paramount importance to have a thorough and frequent pilot ladder inspection regime in place – a person’s life depends on it!