What Is A Ship Gangway?

In marine knowledge our aim is to ensure that the reader knows almost all the aspects about sea and mariners. We will now discuss about one such aspect it is called the gangway. I am sure that you must have seen it a number of times but you did not know what it is called. We will now explain more about the gangway. What is a Gangway well it is like a stair that is used to climb the ships when they are docked in a port. They can be made of wood or even metal. I hope now you can imagine one. We have also attached the picture of a gangway to make it clearer to the readers.

Ship Gangway

Gangway of Ship

Now that you know what is a gangway we shall discuss some more aspects of the same. It is called a gangway as it makes way for the passenger. It can also be called a gangplank. Gangway is like a passage that is used to reach the ship and get down from it. It is a term that is associated with ships and boats more than anything else. Gang means path, hence this is a term that is used to describe temporary pathways. You may hear the term in other occasions too. During rescue operations the gangway is used. It is like a raised pathway that can be securely locked so that people can pass over it safely.

The gangway is also used to load heavy loads to a ship. Large and strong gangways are constructed to load cars and vehicles into the ship or boat. The gangway can be removed and placed inside the ship of the boat as soon as the loading is complete. It can be brought out again when required. If the gangway is used for vehicles it is left afloat. When the ship is anchored the gangway is used again. Some also call the gangway gang planks. In the olden days the pirates used gangway to attack ships.

They would use these to move into the ships they were attacking. Some sailors are punished and made to walk on gangplanks. If the ship catches fire then gangplank can be used to move the crew from one ship to the other. The purpose of the gangplank is many.

In the olden days the gangplank were made of wood alone. However, today aluminium is extensively used to make the gangplank. This is mainly because the use of aluminium makes the gangplank lighter. The use of aluminium also makes the gang planks very strong and durable. The gangway is also called accommodation ladder. You must have by now understood how important the gangway is. It must be maintained in good condition.

This is mainly because if one falls of the gangway the situation can be very critical. The gangway is the only point of contact that the ship uses to load and unload. The environment near the sea can be a big cause for the corrosion of the gangways. This is exactly why the gangway must be maintained well. The ship authorities must not neglect the maintenance of the gangway. The gangway must be kept clean and should be repaired from time to time.

The ships must clearly mention near the gangway how it can be operated. This can be very useful in times of emergency. Anyone can read these instructions and operate the gangway. There should be enough provision of illuminating the gangways in the night. When it gets dark the visibility reduced. However, with the use of these lights many accidents can be avoided. The ships should ensure that at least one crew member is present near the gangway when it is being loaded or unloaded. The passage to the gangway must be clear so that anyone can get there without much trouble. SOLAS clearly gives the guidelines that the boats and ships must follow in order to maintain the gangway.

We hope we have answered all your questions on what is a Gangway. Next time you are boarding a ship or a boat you will know what the crew means when they say gangway. It is very important for the smooth operation of the ship. It is also equally important for the safety of the crew and the passengers on board.

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