Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Prevent A Slip Becoming A Tragedy – Floating Safety Ladders

Published on August 14, 2013 by   ·   No Comments

The phrase “worse things happen at sea” leads you to imagine that it’s the high seas that are treacherous and dangerous – this is why we don lifejackets when venturing out in tricky conditions.  But statistics released this year from the UK’s National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) show quite a different story.  You need to be just as vigilant, or even more, at the coast as you do miles offshore.

The NSWF reported that there were 407 drowning and immersion deaths from accidents or natural causes in 2011.  The majority, 54%, took place in Britain’s inland waterways from canals to lakes, streams to reservoirs, whilst a further 26% happened at the coast or in harbour – only 10% occurred out at sea.

The reason that marinas and docks account for such a high proportion of deaths is because their dangers can be easily overlooked.  Lifejackets worn at sea are generally discarded as a boat enters the “safety” of a harbour leaving people unprotected in the event of a slip-up.  There are plenty of trip hazards dockside from cleats to lines and, in darkness, the edge and the water can blur together.


The shock of falling in, may also cause people to gasp and inhale water.  Alcohol can also play a part as crew and guests wind down after a day at sea.  Heavy wet clothes make it tricky to climb out so it is very important to be aware of your surroundings and to know, if you fall in, how you’re going to get back on dry land.  The new-to-Europe emergency “floating” ladder is one such solution.

Moll Vell superyacht marina in Palma de Mallorca is the location for the first emergency floating ladder of its kind in Europe.  Used in Florida for a number of years, where Moll Vell marina’s Joint Managing Partner, Oscar Siches, first came across it, it’s an innovative yet simple product that could save lives.

Oscar says, “This inventive floating ladder is designed to stay out of the water at all times which eradicates corrosion and any chance of marine growth that would otherwise make the steps slippery and dangerous.  To use it, grab the handles, step on the first rung and your body weight will lower the ladder into the water.  Once you’ve emerged on to dry land, the ladder will return to its floating position above the waterline.  The product is easy to install, no specialist equipment required, and maintenance free.  I think this will become a must-have for marinas across Europe.”
Video of new emergency ladder in Moll Vell –

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