Technical Circular No: 036/2022

Subject: USCG Marine Safety Alert 04-22 Reg. Handhold in Gateway Embarkation Arrangements.

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1. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) while investigating a casualty involving a fall from Pilot Ladder noted that the handholds in the gate arrangement aboard the vessel terminated without being rigidly secured to the vessel’s structure as against the SOLAS requirement requiring that each handhold in a gateway arrangement should be rigidly secured to the ship’s structure at or near its base.

2. Apparently the above modification was effected to accommodate the length of the pilot ladder spreader during deployment and retrieval of the pilot ladder. The modification made it possible to retrieve the pilot ladder without having to lift the spreader up and over the vessel’s railings.

3. In view of above, USCG has issued Marine Safety Alert 04-22 addressing the importance of verifying the correct arrangement of handholds in embarkation gate arrangements aboard merchant vessels and has provided following recommendations:

a. Ensure familiarity with applicable requirements pertaining to handholds in gateway embarkation arrangements aboard merchant vessels.

b. Visually examine handholds in gateway embarkation arrangements for gaps, specifically at the lower terminations.

c. Initiate rectification and issue outstanding conditions to meet regulatory intent for any non- conformities discovered.

4. Ship Owners/Operators and Masters are advised to be guided by above and ensure compliance.



This Technical Circular and the material contained in it is provided only for the purpose of supplying current information to the reader and not as an advice to be relied upon by any person. While we have taken utmost care to be as factual as possible, readers/ users are advised to verify the exact text and content of the Regulation from the original source/ issuing Authority. 

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