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San Diego Bay Pilots Injuries Aboard Vessels, Lawsuits & More

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Jones Act Attorney Injured Seaman Lawyer

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San Diego Bay Pilots Injuries Aboard Vessels, Lawsuits and Such

San Diego Bay is served by the San Diego Bay Pilots Association, Inc.  

Pilots board vessels in the vicinity of San Diego Bay Approach Lighted Whistle Buoy. When boarding, pilots request vessels maintain a speed of 7 knots and rig the pilot ladder about one meter above the water on the starboard side or as directed by the pilot.

All foreign vessels and vessels from a foreign port or bound thereto, and all vessels over 300 gross tons sailing under register between the port of San Diego and any other U.S. port, are subject to pilotage charges and unless permission is granted from the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the port shall be under the direction of a federally licensed pilot for the port of San Diego.

An Injury To A Pilot On A Jacob’s Ladder, Accommodation Ladder or Combination Ladder

A ship's pilot is a person duly qualified to conduct a ship into and out of a port or in special waters and who, while in charge, has the whole conduct of the ship's navigation.

One of the ways a pilot boards a vessel is by means of a Jacob's ladder, which is a rope ladder with mostly wooden treads that is extended over the rail of the vessel to be boarded to the place below where the person intending to board is located. The climb is vertical, and a degree of physical fitness is required to ascend to a vessel by a Jacob's ladder. Pilots commonly climb Jacob's ladders in the course of their duties as a regular way of boarding a ship the deck of which is significantly higher than the pilot's location.

Another method of boarding a vessel is by a "combination ladder," which combines a Jacob's ladder with an "accommodation ladder." An accommodation ladder is a gangway, much like a staircase, that is extended down from the rail of a vessel flush against the hull at approximately a 45 degree angle. Often, and perhaps usually, an accommodation ladder will not reach all the way to the place where the person boarding the ship is located, whether on the deck of a smaller vessel such as a pilot boat or tug, or the surface of a dock at which the larger vessel is berthed. In that circumstance, a Jacob's ladder descends the rest of the way from the low end of the accommodation ladder. The use of such a combination ladder does not eliminate the need to use a Jacob's ladder, but it can shorten the distance the boarder must climb on the Jacob's ladder.

It is not uncommon for pilots to be injured on a Jacob’s ladder, accommodation ladder or combination ladder.  In addition, there are a number of ways harbor pilots can ne injured while aboard vessel - just like regular crew members. Pilots can be injured due to slip and falls, trip and falls, falling equipment, and the like.

For more information, visit Harbor Pilot Injuries.

Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation. Thanks, Bill Turley

William Turley
“When I seek out professional advice, I don’t want B.S., I want it straight up. I figure you do also.”
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