The Port of Southampton has said it would no longer allow pilots board vessels that fall short of the requirements of SOLAS V regulation 23 and IMO Resolution A.1045 (27).

Contained in a Notice to Mariners released on Monday, the port management urged ship owners, masters and crew, to prioritise safe practise as restrictions would henceforth placed on vessels with non-compliant pilot boarding arrangements.

Defaulting vessels, we gathered would not be boarded until the lingering issues are rectified. Such vessels will also be surcharged for the waiting period.

This development follows several incidents of unsafe pilot boarding arrangements.

The Harbour Master and the Associated British Ports have also given their support to pilots refusing to board non-compliant vessels.

They urged the pilots to take precautions by ensuring that necessary requirements such as the stanchion and the pilot ladder rope are in shape.

“Pilot ladders must not be secured using deck tongues, pilot ladders must not be secured from the deck head, the rigging of the pilot ladder must be checked, and the embarkation and disembarkation of the pilot must be supervised by a responsible officer.

“Pilots are encouraged to deliver the ABP pilot safety poster onboard”, they stated.