Ship's transiting the Suez Canal are required to carry line handlers
and their boat. The boat is lifted with the ship's crane, in our case
a four ton capacity stores crane. The boat is lifted to the
Watching 3 men being lifted that high might make one think about wire
condition. With both accommodation ladder wires and crane wires I have
the chief mate follow the same rule. New lifting wires are cheap
insurance. Change out wires by time intervals.
All lifting wires are lubricated and inspected monthly. If found in
good condition they are left until a set time interval. When the
interval is up, say two years, then they are changed regardless of
apparent condition and the date is stenciled on the equipment. If the
wire is kept well lubricated it may last much longer, but some spots
are almost always missed, both during lubrication and inspection. If
the wire is a treated hard it may not make a year.
Doing a thorough inspection of a wire still in service is difficult.
Usually the same spot that is not greased can also not be easily seen.
After a wire parts it will be obvious to everyone that the wire was in
Watching three men and a boat being hoisted almost 90 feet, it is
reassuring knowing for sure that the wire lifting the boat and crew is
a good one.