17th January 2017 – Whilst on deck before disembarking a vessel the pilot boat came alongside and trapped the lower rung of the ladder. Weight on the ladder was minimal as the boat was manoeuvring to free the rung with the deckhand assisting. The tripping line was secured tightly taking some weight of the ladder as the crew were also still in the process of adjusting the height.
Without warning, the ladder parted in 2 places in way of the point load over the ship’s deck edge. It was left hanging down the side of the vessel by the tripping line, which goes to show just how weak the main ropes were.
It was fortunate that the pilot boat put some weight through the ladder prior to the pilot disembarking as the ladder would have never have held the pilot’s weight with the ropes in such a poor condition.
Upon inspection, the fibres were very brittle and if you look closely you can see some strands in a very poor condition. Pilots at the next port and the MCA have been informed.