26Additional Guidance on Pilot Transfer Arrangements Concerning Requirements for Canadian Vessels

This notice provides clarifications on subsection 74.(4) of the Navigation Safety Regulations.

74.(4)Despite subsection (1), in the case of a Canadian ship in the waters of the Great Lakes or St. Lawrence River, if the distance from the water to the point of access of the ship is more than five metres, the ship shall provide an accommodation ladder, or other equipment that provides equally safe and convenient access to and egress from the ship, so that the climb on the pilot ladder does not exceed five metres.

The purpose of subsection 74.(4) is to ensure that the distance to be climbed on the pilot ladder does not exceed 5 metres. 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.


Climb on the pilot ladder must not exceed 5 metres