SNAKES OR LADDERS : A mixed methodology review into the boarding and landing of maritime pilots

Herman Broers

In this recent study, Ewan Rattray MSc MM, conducted research aimed at investigating the factors affecting compliance of pilot transfer arrangements (PTA’s). 

The researcher identifies the nature of the regulations, PTA regulation enforcement, training, statistics, safety culture and vessel design as possible factors.

Pilots feel helpless in the battle against non-compliance

Using qualitative and quantitative methods, he then goes on to assess how much the above factors influence the (non-) compliancy of PTA’s.

The results and conclusions are sobering: The nature of the regulations, the lack of training and proper enforcement, the low standard of the industry wide safety culture,  the poor ship design and the lack of statistics and accident data all contribute to the compliance problems of pilot boarding arrangements.

Furthermore, it is mentioned that pilots feel helpless in the battle against non-compliance. It is felt pilots have very worryingly and wrongly  been left as the only line of defence in what could be a catastrophic journey to work. 

The report of the research is an excellent read for those concerned with pilot ladder safety. The  author should be commended for this important contribution. 

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