AMSA Update—December 2021
In this edition
Every passenger counts
Regulation is in place to improve passenger safety on domestic commercial vessels. These measures were made in response to fatal and serious non-fatal incidents involving passengers falling overboard.
If you operate a vessel that carries passengers, you must:
- Include a procedure in your safety management system to ensure passengers are monitored and accounted for during a voyage. The procedure must allow the master to be able to identify how many passengers are on board at any time.
- Include an emergency procedure in your safety management system that deals with a missing passenger.
- Some operators will need to ensure that their procedures include a count of all passengers on board the vessel where one or more passengers embark on, or disembark from, the vessel—including when the vessel departs a landing point along the way or departs a site where passengers may have left the vessel to undertake a water activity.
- You must also keep a record of the results of any passenger counts in the vessel’s logbook.
Successful re-election into Category B of the IMO council
Australia is pleased to have been re-elected into the Council of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), continuing our key role in international shipping.
New safety alert — hydrostatic release units
We have issued a new safety alert on the use of hydrostatic release units. The alert raises awareness on the correct use of hydrostatic release units for float-free life rafts and float-free EPIRBS.
New Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System to improve aviation safety
The tragic disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in 2014 highlighted the need to improve the global air navigation system, especially over remote and ocean areas, including near Australia.
As a result, the new Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System (GADSS) has been developed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), member States and the aviation industry.
Find out more
Vessel registration review
If you are the registered owner of a vessel listed on the Australian General Shipping Register, and your registration has not been updated in 10 years or more you must confirm your vessel registration details now. If you do not do this your vessel registration may be closed.
Save time and money and avoid the hassle of having to re-register your vessel by advising us that your vessel should remain on the Australian General Shipping Register.
It’s quick and easy to do online here
Now available — safety guidance for parasailing operators
We have released some new safety guidance for commercial parasailing operators. Parasailing vessels are considered domestic commercial vessels under the national law. This information is to assist you comply with your general safety duties.
Read our parasailing safety guidance
Focused inspection campaign — planned maintenance
Planned and corrective maintenance is a critical component of seaworthiness for all vessels. From 15 January to 30 March 2022, our focus will be on ships arriving at Australian ports to determine the level of compliance with the maintenance requirements of the International Conventions. While this focus will be primarily on foreign flagged vessels, planned preventative maintenance is an important part of any safe operation.
Reminder — keep your certificates on board
We want to remind operators and masters that, where practical, you must always carry your vessel’s certificates and permissions on board. This can be in hard copy or an electronic version, such as a copy on your smart phone.
Your vessel’s certificates and permissions must be available upon request by an AMSA inspector or our compliance partners.
For hire-and-drive vessels and non-crewed barges, the owner or operator must be able to provide a copy upon request.
AMSA to monitor HF radio distress calls
From 1 January 2022, there will be changes to the way maritime high frequency (HF) radiotelephone (voice) distress, safety and urgency communications are monitored in Australia. But don't worry, there will be minimum impact on the DCV industry during the transition.
Find out more
New seafarer certificates
From February 2022 AMSA will extend the range of plastic credit card sized certificates of competency to include certificates of competency for masters, mates and engineers.
The new card-sized certificates will contain the same information as the current passport style booklet and will be more durable, secure and portable.
This development is consistent with the range of certificates issued by AMSA and reflects our commitment to modernising services for seafarers and delivering a faster certification process
Now available — Monthly marine incident reports
The information you provide in your incident report plays an important part in guiding the way we improve maritime safety for everybody on the water. By reporting marine incidents to us, you are also meeting your reporting obligations under Australian laws.
Every month we will be sharing an overview of a domestic commercial vessel incident investigation and the safety lesson you can learn to prevent a similar incident occurring on board your vessel.
This month’s report examines why a person was seriously injured after losing balance when a pilot vessel ran aground during sea trials.
Each month we also report on the number and types of domestic commercial marine incidents reported to us. This information is broken down by state, vessel type and a description of the incident.
In November 2020, there were 92 reported incidents involving domestic commercial vessels. Of these, 27 were serious.
Read the Safety Lessons from Marine Incident Investigation report
Read the November incident report