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Bahamas Maritime Authority - Concentrated Inspection Campaign Pilot Transfer Arrangements

SSM Roundel

Steamship Mutual

Published: July 26, 2021

Pilot boarding

The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) have announced details of a Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) – Pilot Transfer Arrangements which will run for the second half of 2021.

Noting a consistent level of non-compliant pilot boarding arrangements across the industry and the related tragic deaths, The BMA has implemented a range of steps to improve safety. These steps included expanding Safety Alert 2021-01 to include details of common defects with pilot boarding arrangements and why they are non-compliant, as well as to share IMPA survey results.

Subsequently The BMA published an Information Notice 18 in March 2021 to make vessels under the Bahamian Flag aware of the requirements with regards to equipment and arrangements for pilot transfer. The BMA also produced a training presentation for its Authorised Flag Inspectors worldwide to ensure that they were specifically aware of these requirements and regulations.

To underpin the new initiatives, The BMA has decided to undertake a CIC to run for the second half of 2021. The related Technical Alert raises the root causes of many of these cases, namely: use of non-compliant pilot and combination ladders; unauthorised modifications to deck access; defective winches and reels; and incorrect ladder securing. Not only will inspectors be asked to complete a checklist as to the compliance of equipment, they will also require evidence that the ship has conducted at least one training session to increase crew awareness of correct procedures. To aid inspectors, the checklist includes photographs demonstrating examples of both good and unacceptable practice.

Whilst the CIC is only applicable to Bahamian Register ships, the Club considers the information and guidance on pilot transfer arrangements to be of great value and of general application, and would suggest that Members share this communication and the referenced attachments with their crews.

Further information can be found at:

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