The USCG has issued Marine Safety Bulletin 21-20, Change 1, Recommendations for Pilot Transfer Arrangements, highlighting Coast Guard concerns regarding the safety of maritime pilots, some of whom have recently lost their lives while embarking commercial vessels. To ensure the safety of all personnel boarding a vessel at sea, the USCG strongly recommends that owners and operators of vessels, regardless of a vessel’s age, follow the guidelines within IMO Resolution A.1045(27) – Pilot Transfer Arrangements.
For vessels with equipment and arrangements installed on or after July 1, 2012, combination arrangements involving a trapdoor configuration are required to comply with Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) Convention, Chapter V, Regulation 220.127.116.11.1. While the renewal of pilot transfer equipment (i.e. a pilot ladder) on existing vessels does not require the reconfiguration of the trapdoor arrangement, the USCG strongly recommends the upgrade of any trapdoor configuration arrangement to meet the guidelines of IMO Resolution A.1045(27).
For vessels registered in the US, USCG marine inspectors and classification society surveyors verify pilot transfer arrangements during initial construction. Any changes in the approved configuration should be brought to the attention of the local Officer in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) or the classification society surveyor, if applicable, in order to verify that the pilot transfer arrangement is in compliance with SOLAS Chapter V, Regulation 23.
Source: The American Club