Boarding Accident Claims Marine Pilot's Life off Yalova, Turkey

Alhena (file image courtesy SETM)

Published Jul 19, 2022 7:37 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] A marine pilot at the port of Yalova, Turkey died Monday after falling from a pilot ladder into the water.

At about 1300 hours Monday, pilot Cafer Kiribrahim was out at the Ciftlikkoy anchorage area off Yalova in order to rendezvous with the tanker Alhena. His pilot boat came alongside the tanker and he transferred over to the pilot ladder. However, after reaching the ladder he fell into the water, according to local media.

A police response boat recovered Kiribrahim unconscious and brought him to shore, where he was treated by paramedics and transferred to Yalova State Hospital. Despite doctors' attempts to revive him, he passed away. 

According to CNN Turkey, Kiribrahim may have suffered a heart attack while he was on the ladder, then fell into the sea. 

Alhena is a 2012-built product tanker flagged in the Bahamas. A port state control inspection at Rotterdam in June found issues with her pilot ladder arrangements, according to her Equasis record. The shipowner notes that a fully new pilot ladder was purchased after the PSC inspection and was in use prior to the boarding accident. 

The climb from a moving pilot boat up the side of a moving ship involves risk, and pilot ladder accidents are not uncommon. In an attempt to address pilot transfer safety issues, SOLAS V Regulation 23 provides specific measures for pilot ladder arrangements and equipment.