Marine safety issues and actions

Safety management system guidance

Issue number: MO-2013-007-SI-05
Who it affects: All masters owners and operators of ships and small vessels
Issue owner: Whyalla Launch Services
Transport function: Marine: Shipboard operations
Background: Investigation Report 300-MO-2013-007
Issue release date: 09 May 2014
Current issue status: Adequately addressed

Safety issue description

Whyalla Launch Services’ safety management system did not provide effective guidance in relation to assessing a passenger’s ability to climb a pilot ladder or positioning of pilot launches while passengers were climbing and descending ladders. The system also referenced superseded SOLAS regulations and IMO resolutions relating to pilot ladders.

Proactive Action

Action number: MO-2013-007-NSA-011
Action organisation: Whyalla Launch Services
Date: 09 May 2014
Action status: Closed

Whyalla Launch Services has advised that the company’s safety management system has been updated as a result of the findings of this incident and an audit that was carried out in December 2013. Changes to the system include;

  • A copy of the IMPA pilot ladder arrangement diagram has been placed in a prominent place in Switcher’s wheelhouse.
  • The procedures now include a requirement for Switcher to be moved either ahead or astern once each person is on the pilot ladder so that the area is clear in the event of a fall. A man overboard recovery system will also be deployed in readiness for recovery from the sea if necessary.
  • The procedures now require all persons to remain in the wheelhouse of the launch until the deckhand is ready for the impending transfer. The skipper then allows one passenger at a time to go on deck for their boarding.
  • References to the most up-to-date SOLAS regulations and IMO resolutions have been included.

ATSB comment:

The ATSB considers that the actions taken by Whyalla Launch Services should address this safety issue.

Last update 09 May 2014