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Thread: Pilot ladders

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    Default Pilot ladders

    There is a big push on internationally regarding the correct rigging of, maintenance of and correct boarding procedure for pilot ladders and the associated gangway, where applicable. Pictures posted by many pilots world wide on a forum dedicated to bad ladders, show many shocking examples of not only incorrectly rigged and secured ladders but also ladders that are blatantly unsafe due to there condition.
    (Check out the Facebook page dedicated to unsafe ladders for photos).
    In all my years at sea, both deep sea and on the coast, I can never recall an instance of our pilot ladder being in tip top condition nor of it being incorrectly rigged and manned, nor ever having a pilot fall off the ladder despite often having the pilot boarding in pretty terrible conditions. Yet looking at the photos on that forum you have to ask yourselves just what the master and crew of those ships were thinking providing such abysmal ladders as after all it's not rocket science to do some splicing and shipping to replace/repair any broken treads , side ropes etc.
    Rgds
    J.A.
    P.s. another ladder that is often overlooked is the lifeboat boarding ladder that often sits unexamined for months under a canvas cover on the boat embarkation deck, rotting slowly away.
    Last edited by John Arton; 21st October 2019 at 01:57 PM.

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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    As we know John most if not all these days, Pilots in UK waters are ex Captains who choose this path its a lot of hard work putting in the hours of further studying and practical I cant remember one accident dropping or picking up a pilot, But I have seen some very big ships draughts they have to climb and descend. Another day another dollar Terry.
    {terry scouse}

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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    I remember at Sandheads ( India) when the pilot was coming aboard. A Bit of a swell running but pilot gets on no prob .
    The apprentice the fool grabbed the ladder when the launch was in the dip . It then came up and hit is ass and he rose about 15 feet. His ass must have been sore for weeks .
    Ron the batcave

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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    Just a little incident which I remember whilst a Cadet with L+H. I was working with Chippy on one of our two pilot ladders, we were replacing and repairing rungs. Chippy called to me ' give me a spreader ' just as one of the AB's was passing. The AB immediately turned his back on Chippy and dropped his shorts and shreddie's. OH what a sight - happy days
    When one door closes another one shuts, it must be the wind

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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    On most cruise ships now the pilot goes out through a gun port door made for the purpose.

    Recall leaving East London homeward bound in about 63 with UCL.
    The pilot boat came along side and the pilot made his way down the Jacobs ladder.
    A heavy swell running and just as he went to let go the pilot boat moved away from the ships side caught in the swell.
    We did hear his body was never found, but worse still so many bloods looking over the side when it occurred.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    Quote Originally Posted by happy daze john in oz View Post
    On most cruise ships now the pilot goes out through a gun port door made for the purpose.

    Recall leaving East London homeward bound in about 63 with UCL.
    The pilot boat came along side and the pilot made his way down the Jacobs ladder.
    .
    Just a wee note John for when you are recounting your stories to other bloods on your travels, a Jacobs ladder is different to a pilot ladder. A pilot ladder has flat steps and a spreader to stop it twisting, a Jacobs ladder has round rungs, very narrow and its construction is normally wire (instead of rope) and when climbing it in the flare of the bow or stern you climb it sideways, otherwise you ain't going anywhere

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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivan Cloherty View Post
    Just a wee note John for when you are recounting your stories to other bloods on your travels, a Jacobs ladder is different to a pilot ladder. A pilot ladder has flat steps and a spreader to stop it twisting, a Jacobs ladder has round rungs, very narrow and its construction is normally wire (instead of rope) and when climbing it in the flare of the bow or stern you climb it sideways, otherwise you ain't going anywhere
    Sorry Ivan, just that all we knew in catering was the Jacobs ladder.
    But I do recall in Durban we had to use one of those things in life boat drill.
    How do you stay on one of those without almost crapping your self.
    Who ever designed them obviously never used one.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

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    John Strange R737787
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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    Quote Originally Posted by happy daze john in oz View Post
    Sorry Ivan, just that all we knew in catering was the Jacobs ladder.
    But I do recall in Durban we had to use one of those things in life boat drill.
    How do you stay on one of those without almost crapping your self.
    Who ever designed them obviously never used one.
    Same as ships John, buggers who design them never sail in them, as said before most naval architects experience of water is a deep puddle.

    First time you use a Jacobs ladder you feel like crapping yourself, as no one tells you how to use it correctly, as its amusing for your colleagues seeing your legs and body going at 90 degrees from your hands, using them sideways by hands on one side and then straddling one side using your heels on the rungs keeps it fairly vertical, you get used to it having to read the draught everyday fore and aft at anchorage, if you can't bum a lift on a barge tug for a few ciggies

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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    Pilot ladders in my experience, (when not used for main purpose) I have used as a ladder when swimming over the side, a bit of a strain after swimming in the sea for a couple of hours, Climbing up the side of a tanker was high out of the water waiting to Load. (Bannais or Tripoli) even though young and fit still a hard job.
    The other times I have had to use it, was arriving back to the jetty, to see the ship singled up ready to sail, all you have is the Pilot ladder, and the Captain glaring down at you, Discharge book given to you by the agent, put into the back pockets and climb up, with the crew shouting remarks, knowing you only had a short time before the Captain summoned you to his office for a good telling off and maybe a Logging.
    Those were the days.

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    Default Re: Pilot ladders

    Hello
    My dad used to tell us children about being on the Hoogley River in Calcutta before the War.
    The ship was riding high as she was unladen, The Pilot came alongside and called for the ladder to be thrown down. It was , and it didn't reach the Pilot.
    A Sailor said that he had thrown the ladder down, but it wouldn't reach.
    "Do you know who I am? I am the Hoogley River Pilot."
    Sailor replied,"I don't care if you are Pontius Pilate the beep-beep ladder won't reach.".....

    As a child, I often wondered what a 'beep-beep ladder' was. Went on the Hoogley a couple of years ago but didn't see one !!
    regards
    Brenda

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