This report should be read in conjunction with A SAFE Means of Access (1) & (3)
CHIRP has received several reports related to means of access – wire failures, falling overboard and design issues are all discussed below.
What the Reporter told us (2)
Having completed mooring operations, and with the vessel safely berthed, the crew commenced to deploy the starboard accommodation ladder. The ladder was moved outboard via its winch from the stowed position. When the crew started lowering the ladder by winch, the wire rope parted at a distance of about 1.8 metres from the permanent connection of the ladder davit. As a result, the ladder dropped freely into the sea. It remained connected to the vessel by the two bolts/pins, with the lower platform in an almost vertical position. There was no personnel injury. The accommodation ladder was recovered and the wire end for ended. It was two and half years old. Replacement wires were ordered for both ladders on board.
The Maritime Advisory Board noted that the regulations regarding the construction, maintenance, inspection and survey of accommodation ladders and gangways are governed by SOLAS II-1 Regulation 3.9. The associated guidelines for these requirements are detailed in MSC.1 Circ1331.
Inspections should be recorded in the ship’s Planned Maintenance System (PMS), with individual check lists for inspection of the wires and checking ‘pinch points’ where the wires turn around the sheaves in the stowed position. The PMS should include all maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer. It was also highlighted that in this case there was a danger that a shock load had been placed upon the bolts/pins in the platform due to the failure of the wire and that they should be thoroughly inspected prior to the ladder being brought back into service. In addition West of England P&I Club – Gangways and Accommodation Ladders give some useful advice.
See “A SAFE Means of Access” (1) and (3) for the other reports