From International Dictionary of Marine Aids to Navigation
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Any area, structure or part of a structure designated for the transfer of personnel or materials between a vessel and the shore or structure.

Note: The French term cale denotes a gently sloping area on which a landing can be made.

Please note that this is the term as it stands in the original IALA Dictionary edition (1970-1989)

International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities - AISM