Master and vessel owner convicted for pilot’s injury due to sub-standard ladder

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > International > Master and vessel owner convicted for pilot’s injury due to sub-standard ladder

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has prosecuted and secured a conviction in a rare case involving injuries to a marine pilot. The incident occurred when the pilot fell over 20 feet from the ladder while disembarking from the Cyprus-flagged cargo ship AAL Dampier in the Port of Fremantle, Australia.

AMSA inspectors determined that the ropes on the pilot ladder had failed due to being in poor condition and inappropriate storage. The safety authority found the condition of the ladder and ropes to be “shocking” and attributed it to ineffective inspection and maintenance procedures on the ship.

AMSA decided to prosecute the shipping company, AAL Dampier Navigation Co., and the master of the vessel. The company pled guilty to failing to ensure proper pilot transfer arrangements and was fined A$30,500 (US$20,000). The master of the vessel pled guilty to two offences, including failure to ensure the safe disembarkation of the pilot and taking an unseaworthy vessel to sea, and was fined a total of A$5,500 (US$3,600).

AMSA’s Executive Director of Operations emphasized the importance of meeting safety standards to prevent serious injuries to marine pilots and expressed satisfaction with the prosecution’s outcome, hoping it would serve as a deterrent to compromising marine pilot safety.

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