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BMA targets pilot transfer safety in inspection campaign

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Nick Dowden, BMA
The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) is targeting pilot transfer safety in its latest Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC).

The BMA noted a consistent level of non-compliant boarding arrangements across the in industry from the results of the International Maritime Pilots’ Association (IMPA) Safety Campaign which it has shared with its fleet since 2015.

Non-complaint pilot ladders and other boarding arrangements can result in death and injury of pilots. In January 2017 Singapore’s bi-annual safe boarding campaign found some 20% of pilot ladders to be unsafe.

The BMA’s inspection campaign will run in the second half of the year and will inspectors be asked to complete a checklist as to the compliance of equipment, and they will also require evidence that the ship has conducted at least one training session to increase crew awareness of correct procedures.

Nick Dowden, Marine Investigator at the BMA, said: “We have supported IMPA’s Safety Campaign for some time but realised that we needed to take positive action to improve the situation within our fleet. 

By insisting that our ships follow the SOLAS requirements to the letter, we hope to mitigate the difficulties experienced by marine pilots as they embark and disembark. In fact, we are hoping that other flags follow suit and add this safety issue to their own inspection criteria.”

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