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Establishment of virtual AIS aid to navigation in Torres Strait—marine notice 13/2015

To assist deep draught vessels navigate in and around this area, AMSA has established a ‘virtual’ AIS Aid to Navigation (AtoN).

AMSA has identified a number of instances where deep draught vessels may have transited very close to the charted position of OG Rock in the Prince of Wales Channel.

For deep draught vessels the practice of transiting close to, or over, the charted position of OG Rock may increase risk, lead to a breach of AMSA’s stipulated under keel clearance limit or, in the worst case scenario, lead to a vessel grounding.

To assist deep draught vessels navigate in and around this area, AMSA has established a ‘virtual’ AIS Aid to Navigation (AtoN). A virtual AIS AtoN is an AtoN that can be displayed on vessel’s navigation displays for a location where no actual physical aid to navigation exists.

The virtual AIS AtoN readily and clearly indicates the charted position of OG Rock on navigational displays to assist Mariners keep deep draught vessels well clear of OG Rock and to avoid accidental breaches of Under Keel Clearance limits as stipulated in Marine Order 54.

The virtual AIS AtoN appears in position (WGS84) 10 degrees 29.865 South; 142 degrees 20.753 East. This should display on vessels’ ECDIS / Minimum Keyboard Displays / AIS equipment as a virtual Special Mark. The AIS description will include the text ‘OG Rock’.

Mariners transiting Torres Strait should be familiar with the location of OG Rock and its associated virtual AIS AtoN. Additionally, Mariners should consider the limited room to manoeuvre that is available for deep draught vessels in the vicinity of OG Rock.

Download Establishment of virtual AIS aid to navigation in Torres Strait—marine notice 13/2015 (PDF 141 KB)

Allan Schwartz
A/g Deputy Chief Executive Officer
July 2015

Australian Maritime Safety Authority
GPO Box 2181
CANBERRA ACT 2601

Last updated: 

Wednesday 14 August 2019