Capt Troy Evans of Auckland, New Zealand recently published a very interesting report on the results of hundreds of load tests of pilot ladders which were rigged in different ways.
The testing included rolling hitch lashing, choking shackles, shackles between side ropes, endless slings and deck tongues. On top of that the steps and the top-end securing of the ladder were used as well.
The results of the testing showed than an endless sling is the second best option after the top-end securing for securing the ladder. It is a method not often seen on ships, however this method needs further development.
In his closing remarks, Capt. Evans recommends fatigue testing of ladders to be undertaken. He also recommends that gear used for the intermediate securing of pilot ladders should be tested and certified.
The full report can be downloaded here.