26Additional Guidance on Pilot Transfer Arrangements

The purpose of this notice is to ensure that the distance to be climbed on the pilot ladder does not exceed 5 metres for ships in the waters of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. The “transfer point,” where the pilot moves between the pilot boat and the pilot ladder, may be considered as the lower point of the climb. This transfer point will be unique to each pilot boat and may be the main deck of the pilot boat or a raised position on a platform or on the structure of the pilot boat that is specifically designed to allow pilots to embark more easily. The height of the transfer point above the water for a particular pilot boat may be obtained in advance from the pilot station when the services of a pilot are requested. If the distance from this transfer point to the point of access to or egress from the ship does not exceed 5 metres, an accommodation ladder may not be provided.

Notwithstanding the above, the regulations do not allow the use of a pilot ladder where the climb of the ladder would exceed a height of 9m above the water.


Diagram showing maximum height that the transfer ladder must not exceed on the side of a boat for pilot transfer without using an accommodation ladder.

Authority: Transport Canada

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