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Australia fines ship captain and owner for serious injuries to pilot

Photo: AMSA AMSA suspected non-compliant pilot ladder
A vessel master and shipowner Fu Ye Shipping have been convicted by the Australian courts for an accident that led to serious injuries to a ship pilot.

The case involved the Panama-flagged vessel Boshi 58 where the pilot ladder broke on 25 May 2023 as the pilot was embarking onto the ship.

The Australian Maritime Safety Agency (AMSA) said that both the master and owner pled guilty for failing to comply with pilot transfer arrangement regulations and were fined A$5,000 and A$32,000 respectively.

Prosecutors in the case showed the pilot ladder had been not regularly checked and improperly stored resulting in it becoming unsafe for use.

AMSA Executive Director Operations Michael Drake said: “Pilots rely on a ship’s master and crew to properly maintain, stow and rig pilot ladders, and neglecting a pilot ladder can have deadly consequences.

“If you own, operate or are the master of a ship, the safety of everyone using the pilot ladder is in your responsibility,” he added.

AAL Dampier Navigation was fined A$30,500 for a similar offence in June 2023 where the pilot ladder failed leading to the injury of the pilot.