Liquefied Gas Carrier

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Means of access to liquefied gas carriers -Gangways or accommodation ladder arrangement

To enable an efficient control of persons arriving onboard in port, it is very good to have the accommodation ladder, which leads directly to a reception point near the Deck Office.Personnel should only use the designated means of access between ship and shore. When a ship is berthed or at anchor, the means of access should be so placed as to be convenient for supervision and if possible away from the manifold area. Where practicable two means of access should be provided. Gangways or other means of access should be properly secured and provided with an effective safety net. In addition, suitable life-saving equipment should be available near the access point to shore.


During darkness the means of access and all working areas should be adequately illuminated.

Precautions against Visitors

Gangway notice has been posted, at the shore end of the access where possible. The notice should at least state that:

(1) Visitors are required to show identification;

(2) Passages from the gangway to the accommodation shall be designated

(3) Mobile phones and other electronic equipment must be switched off;

(4) Smoking and naked lights are prohibited;

(5) Lighters and matches are prohibited to be carried on board.

(6) Riveted shoes shall not be allowed.

The deck watch should ensure that access to the ship is denied to all unauthorized persons. Visitors shall be given attention to fire, and shall not be allowed to smoke in areas other than the designated smoking places. Gangways and accommodation ladders may be hazardous if badly rigged, improperly tended or inadequately maintained.

Fig: Accommodation ladder


Accommodation ladder – A portable ladder hinged to a platform attached to the side of a ship and which can be positioned to provide access between ship and shore. Telescopic accommodation ladder is used for covering a long distance between the vessel and port quay. According to amendments to SOLAS Convention ships constructed on or after 1 January 2010 shall be provided with means of embarkation on and disembarkation from ships for use in port, such as gangway and accommodation ladders.

Gangways and accommodation ladders are heavy and cumbersome pieces of equipment. Operating instructions should be posted in the vicinity of the boarding arrangements and it is essential that the personnel required to break out and rig ladders or operate lifting gear are sufficiently experienced, bearing in mind the possible consequences of a mistake.

Anyone unfamiliar with such tasks should be closely supervised by a responsible person until considered competent. If inexperienced crewmembers are required to assist with the rigging of a gangway or accommodation ladder, a risk assessment or job safety assessment should also be carried out beforehand in case additional measures to reduce the risk are necessary before commencing the operation.

Suitable protective equipment should be worn as appropriate including personal floatation devices fitted with self activating lights, whistles and reflective material, and safety harnesses of the arrestor type rather than fall restraints. Fall arrestors should always be attached to suitable securing points fixed to the ship’s structure.

Surveyors carrying out condition surveys for the P & I Club often report occasions where a vessel’s gangway or accommodation ladder was rigged incorrectly. Safety nets are often the subject of such observations and are frequently found to be secured to each side of the ladder along its entire length. This results in the net hanging uselessly below the steps instead of leading away to the side of the ship to catch anyone unfortunate enough to fall off.

Rope guard rails must be tight if they are to be effective, and all stanchions must be fitted in place and properly secured. Steps, handrails and platforms should be free of oil, grease and ice.

When landed on the quay, care should also be taken to ensure that the lifting bridle and/or davit arm is kept well above head height or moved clear as necessary.

As far as practicable the approaches to the ladder both on deck and on the quay should be free of hazards to allow safe access and egress to and from the vessel. Close attention should also be paid to any significant difference in height between the ends of the ladder and the quay or deck. This may mean placing and securing a portable step or steps in such locations to minimise the risk of slips and falls. Warning notices should be posted in such cases.

When gangways are placed on top of bulwarks, a suitable bulwark ladder should be used between the deck and the gangway. It should be adequately secured and all gaps between the top of the bulwark ladder and the gangway should be fenced off to a height of at least one metre.

Gangways and accommodation ladders should be adequately illuminated at night, particularly at each end. If there are no permanent fittings, portable lighting should be rigged.

A lifebuoy with a self-activating light plus a separate buoyant lifeline with a quoit or similar device attached should be stationed at the point of access ready for immediate use. Many vessels also place a small box containing a fire plan, stowage plan, dangerous goods list, stability details, crew list and other relevant information at the head of the ladder ready for use in an emergency.

Gangways should never be secured to a ship’s guard rails unless they have been designed for that purpose. If positioned through an open section of bulwark or railings, any remaining gaps should be roped off to a height of at least one metre.

Consideration should also be given to the angle of inclination, making sure that design limits are not exceeded. It may be necessary to provide alternative arrangements if the means of access is likely to become excessively steep. National legislation on this issue may vary, but in the absence of firm rules it may be prudent to observe UK regulations; a gangway should not be used if its angle of inclination is more than 30° above or below the horizontal, similarly for an accommodation ladder if the angle is more than 55° below the horizontal, unless designed and constructed for use at angles greater than these.


A crewmember should be assigned to monitor the gangway or accommodation ladder as regular adjustment may be required due to the movement caused by tidal conditions and variations in draft and trim.

Regular monitoring is essential as changed circumstances may lead to a vessel’s access arrangements rapidly becoming difficult to negotiate.

The deck watch should also look out for potential dangers ashore such as bollards, tracks and cranes bearing in mind that most ladders are constructed of aluminium alloy and are easily damaged.

If the position of the ladder is such that cargo residues accumulate on a ladder and its approaches during a port stay, then the residues should be cleaned away regularly to prevent a slip/trip hazard. To assist those responsible for tending gangways and accommodation ladders, it may be worthwhile noting the times of high and low water on the sailing board each day.


It is a SOLAS requirement that inspection and maintenance of accommodation ladders and gangways be conducted periodically. Monthly inspection and maintenance should be included in the planned maintenance system and should always be carried out by a competent person in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.

In addition to planned maintenance inspections, further checks should be made each time the ladder is rigged, looking out for signs of damage, distortion, cracks and corrosion.

Periodic inspections of accommodation ladders and gangways should incorporate the following:

The structure of the ladder should be closely examined for cracks, distortion, damage and corrosion, and repaired as necessary. If an aluminium ladder has fittings made of mild steel, these areas should be examined closely. Accelerated corrosion may occur if the two dissimilar metals come into contact, and deterioration of the separation material could lead to a severely weakened structure.

Bent stanchions should be replaced or repaired, and guard ropes inspected for wear and renewed where necessary.

Safety nets should be inspected for damage, actinic degradation and for the impregnation of grease, paint or chemicals which may affect their strength.

Moving parts such as sheaves, tracks, turntables, bearings and rollers should be free to turn, and greased as appropriate.

Lifting equipment should be inspected, tested and maintained according to a planned schedule. The condition of hoist wires is to be closely monitored for broken wires, corrosion or distortion, with particular attention paid to areas passing through sheaves.

Damaged wires should be replaced in line with the company’s wire discard criteria prior to their condition becoming unacceptable. In any event hoist wire replacement should never exceed 5 years. Hoist wires should be provided with a suitable test certificate prior to fitment and it is recommended that the date the hoist wires were last renewed is stencilled in the vicinity of the ladder for easy reference.

Hoist wires should be periodically treated with a suitable wire rope dressing over their entire length. Arrangements should also be made to examine the underside of gangways and accommodation ladders at regular intervals. It is often difficult to gain access to these areas in the course of normal activities and it may be necessary to turn the ladder over periodically to perform a detailed inspection.

Winch bed plates and supporting structures for sheaves and turntables should be inspected for cracks, distortion, damage and corrosion, and repaired as necessary. Control levers/buttons and limit switches should be tested to ensure they are working correctly.

Operating instructions should be conspicuous, markings on the accommodation ladder or gangway as required by the flag state (such as the maximum safe loading by persons and by total weight) should be legible, and control levers or buttons should be clearly marked.

All inspections, maintenance work and repairs should be recorded in the planned maintenance system in order to provide an accurate detailed history for each appliance.

Aluminium alloys are highly susceptible to galvanic corrosion in a marine atmosphere if they are used in association with dissimilar metals. Great care should be exercised when connecting mild steel fittings, whether or not they are galvanised, to accommodation ladders and gangways constructed of aluminium.

Plugs and joints of neoprene, or other suitable material, should be used between mild steel fittings, washers, etc and aluminium. The plugs or joints should be significantly larger than the fittings or washers.

Repairs using mild steel doublers or bolts made of mild steel or brass or other unsuitable material should be considered as temporary. Permanent repairs, or the replacement of the means of access, should be undertaken at the earliest opportunity.

The manufacturer’s instructions should give guidance on examination and testing of the equipment. However, close examination of certain parts of accommodation ladders and gangways is difficult due to their fittings and attachments. It is essential, therefore, that the fittings are removed periodically for a thorough examination of the parts most likely to be affected by corrosion.

Accommodation ladders and gangways should be turned over to allow for a thorough examination of the underside. Particular attention should be paid to the immediate perimeter of the fittings; this area should be tested for corrosion with a wire probe or scribe. Where the corrosion appears to have reduced the thickness of the parent metal to 3 mm, back plates should be fitted inside the stringers of the accommodation ladder or gangways.

Courtesy :

Related Information:

  1. Openings in Deckhouses and Superstructures

  2. Mooring requirements for gas carrier

  3. Ship’s Readiness to Move

  4. Restrictions for use of Mobile-phone in gas carrier

  5. Precautions against abnormal weather or other conditions

  6. Cargo Machinery Room Precautions

  7. Lashing of Movable Articles

  8. Links & Resources

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