PSC focuses on embarkation ladders of life-saving appliances


Port State Control (PSC) in La Spezia reports that a high number of embarkation ladders which are found being too short thus not meeting SOLAS requirements.

SOLAS Ch. III Reg. 11.7 requirement:

"An embarkation ladder complying with the requirements of paragraph 6.1.6 of the Code extending, in a single length, from the deck to the waterline in the lightest seagoing condition under all conditions of trim of up to 10° and a list of up to 20° either way shall be provided at each embarkation station or at every two adjacent embarkation stations for survival craft launched down the side of the ship."

Clarification by Class:

“The requirement for the ladder and/or falls to be long enough to account for an adverse trim of 10 degrees and an adverse list of 20 degrees should be taken/calculated as the ladder/fall length to reach the water in the trimmed and listed condition at the stowed position.” This requirement was not met on several ships in other ports during inspections. In our experience this requirement is leading to a seemingly much too long embarkation ladder under normal draft and trim conditions, hence the ladders are often shortened by crew when, after several safety drills, parts of the ladder are soaked with saltwater and going to seed.

All masters should be instructed to have the length of embarkation ladders checked regularly.

It is recommended that owners provide every ship with a calculation of the correct minimum length, e. g. in the Safety Management Manual.

The length should be calculated by applying the lightest seagoing condition from the stability booklet (no cargo and 10% fuel) and add additional length for 10° trim and 20° list by determination of triangles.

Author: International Cooperation Dept, VR