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UK port operators have called for action following a series of cases involving defective pilot ladders and the regular use of dangerously weighted heaving lines on visiting vessels…
The safety of marine pilots and dock workers is being put at risk by the failure of too many ships to comply with international standards, the British Ports Association has warned.
Chief executive Richard Ballantyne has called for leadership in the global shipping industry and at the International Maritime Organisation to ensure that lives are not put at risk as a result of 'flagrant' safety shortfalls.
'Too often of late, UK ports and their pilots report that visiting ships provide unsafe pilot ladders, and we have also seen the continued use of dangerously weighted heaving lines in ports,' he pointed out. 'Both threaten the lives of harbour and towage operatives.'
Mr Ballantyne said the International Maritime Pilots' Association had recently published the results of its annual safety survey, which confirmed the global scale of the problems with defective pilot boarding arrangements.
'Of course, such examples are despite the existence of longstanding international rules outlined in SOLAS,' he added. 'The exact reasons for these instances are unclear but as a normally responsible sector, the shipping industry should collectively hang its head in shame over this continued flagrant activity. It cannot ignore such problems and must show leadership to correct such practices.'
Global rules set by the IMO bring consistency, but they must be followed. Equally, these rules must be enforced uniformly, and port state control practices should be firm – including, where needed, measures to prosecute and detain ships