Table 1—Submissions received online AMSA received 36 submissions online and 41 individual submissions from the regional workshops.
|Question 1: Are the current equipment lists working for you?
|Question 2: Are you a commercial inshore fisherman?
|Question 3 – What is your area of operation?
|South East Queensland 15
|Northern Queensland 8
|Northern NSW 4
|Central Queensland 15
|Gulf of Carpentaria 23
|Northern Territory 1
|Question 4: What safety equipment do you think is essential to conduct your operation?
|Portable safety equipment
|Red hand-held distress flare
|Orange hand-held smoke signal
|Waterproof buoyant torch
|V Sheet marine
|One or more of the onboard communication methods must be recorded as part of your SMS
|VHF marine radio
|Satellite emergency notification device
|Blackball day shape
|Sound signal (horn)
|Compass or Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)
|Chart or map of the operational area
|Electronic navigation device
|Anchor with chain and/or rope
|Set of oars (2 oars)
|First aid kit (with instructions)
|Emergency drinking water
Other comments received about equipment
All current safety equipment required for use in relevant area of operation on commercial fishing boat.
Fisherman will know what works in their area. Small open dinghy often have no protected area or room for VHS radio, etc.
Navigation equipment is not necessary when working in daylight hours in inshore estuary systems in small open dinghys. VMS allows tracking of boat position as required by state govt.
Bilge pumps are not practical for small open dinghy. Operator/owner want to protect their vessels and will have one where warranted.
Not practical to have instructions with first aid kit.
Fire extinguisher not practical for small open dinghy. Have had instance of a crab bin hitting a fire extinguisher and setting it off whilst working. Min fuel amount should be 60lt. 25lt is not viable amount to work with.
Bilge pumps only if not sealed hull with survey. Paddles instead of oars. Keep first aid kit simple.
Paddles instead of oars. Some equipment isn’t necessary.
No lifejacket, Bailing bucket, set of oars, first aid kit, emergency drinking water, fire blanket, fire extinguisher not in ocean beach.
2 set of oars?
Fire extinguisher 500gram.
VHF marine radio unless main boat. GNSS depending on size of boat and what it is used for. Fire extinguisher 1kg only.
Onboard communication – only 1 type onboard. Bilge pumps for bigger boats. Fire extinguisher for bigger boats.
Bilge pumps if required for risk assessment.
1kg fire extinguisher.
1kg only fire extinguisher.
No set of oars.
First aid kit with no instructions.
1kg only fire extinguisher.
Portable safety equipment is for net dingys operating with a parent vessel.
Onboard communication equipment is on parent vessel.
Chart/map of operational area, electronic navigation device and fire blanket on parent vessel.
Portable safety equipment not for net dingys operating off a parent boat within line of sight.
Most definitely easy to understand and should be made to include multiple crew not just a single crew/operator.
Question 5—Is the proposed equipment list easy to understand?
Question 6—do you support the proposed equipment lists?
Question 7—Tell us why you do not support the new equipment lists
I think there is too much safety equipment to be carted around in small boats where it can't be stored safely.
My business is focus on beach hauling. A beach haulers boat never ventures any further then 100m offshore. Our vessels are nearly always attached to the shoreline be means of the net we shoot. The jet boats we use are very wet boats so any equipment we are made to carry will get wet or damaged and there’s is the danger of entanglement of objects in the net if too much safety equipment is required. It also must be noted there is generally the skipper and a deckhand in every beach haul shot.
It’s too much for in shore working.
Already have two epirbs in life rafts plus one in wheel house, why a float free one?
A cost that boats in same survey, with positive flotation don’t have to bare.
I can't see the point in having equipment beyond what a recreational vessel would need operating sheltered and smooth waters in waters shallower than 2 m at low tide, I follow the tide line where is torches the shore in the case of working bait along the beach and I am out of the boat not in it standing in water sometimes up to my neck and if in the creeks I am using a cast net from the tiny or again out of the boat dragging a bait net on a shallow sand bar , hand held radio isn't needed when it's can get my phone out of the water proof box and make a call which is far more reliable. A map is no good to me and neither is a compass as its not like I don't know where I am going, if I get into real trouble I would just walk home.
I have 2 vessels and 1 has been used commercially for a few years and my new dinghy has to have twice as much safety equipment, like a life ring, in a single handed operator and I have to have life rings and all sorts in a dinghy.
FYI. I have a Master 1 Certificate and have been Master for a number of years. I work an outboard powered 6.7 m handline boat, single handed. My range is up to 10 M to sea and 10 M parallel to the coast. I can contact the local Coastguard at all times by VHF and mobile phone. Please extend the range to 10 M at least to a vessel carrying an OG1. A limit of 2 M is ridiculous!
Handline and trap vessels work out of Evans Head where I am based. Global warming and the penetration of the E Coast current ensures that being only 15 M S of Ballina we are washed by the same temperatures. Please revise the tropical zone to extend to the N wall at Illuka which is far more practical. Our temperatures during winter seldom go below 20 DegC these days.
Carrying a specific bailing bucket is unnecessary as we always carry buckets for thawing bait etc and in my case have a self-draining deck and an under deck auto directly wired to my dual batteries For a small vessel a 4.5 Kg extinguisher is a bulky object for small vessels with minimum under cover storage and could be replaced by a 2.5 Kg option that will fit into a dry area with ease. Requirement to check the extinguisher by a licenced professional tester 6 monthly considering the vessel might only work an average of less than 3 days a week seems to me to be an overkill. Annually would be more practical, and perhaps the skipper could do a 6 monthly check of the pressure is in the green and invert the extinguisher a couple of times to ensure the powder is still dry.
After a lifetime at sea certain of the small boat AMSA requirements are totally unrealistic for a sub-8 m boat. eg. none of us ever use or carry a sand anchor but always carry reef anchors (as handlining is mostly carried out anchored over rock bottom, or trolling/drifting.).
AMSA requirements for a 16 mm anchor rope for a boat my size indicates a total unrealistic knowledge of working on a small boat under 8 m. By having to carry such a large diameter rope an effective anchor weight (hand pulled) would be impossible to haul up. (No such thing as an anchor winch in a 6 m tinny!) and using a much lighter anchor , it would not even find the bottom (friction in the water). At present I anchor with a 10mm rope and about an 8 kg reef pick with which I can not only anchor effectively and exactly where required, but most importantly, I have sufficient power to break the rope should I be unable to retrieve a stuck anchor. 99.9% of the time the rope will break at the anchor chain where most wear occurs, avoiding having to cut the rope on the surface.
First aid kits recommended by AMSA surveyors are enormously comprehensive St John's 1st Aid Kit which are far too large to store in a small boat water proof space. Vessels under say 8m are mostly planning vessels and within an hour at most travel from Evans Head. a smaller kit comprising simple dressings such as gauze, sticky plaster, cotton wool etc with anti-septic ointment/liquid and aspirin would cover minor incidents. Any major injury can be dealt with on arrival back, or by a Medic carried by the Coastguard if a lone operator gets into serious difficulties.
Regarding charts, fog signals etc. We are in sight of land, and very seldom experience fogs out at sea past the breakwater entrance. Occasional mist lies over the creek, rarely extending seaward. To make a commercial catch we must be extremely aware of our position and always carry our land clearing details and navigational waypoints on chart plotters, or as waypoints on simpler GPS's.
Day shapes and life rings are totally impractical on our 6 meter boat
My boats are 5m or less there’s just too much stuff
First aid kit with no instructions. 1kg fire extinguisher. High vis clothing. Why would you want a torch that’s not waterproof.
Do not agree with all proposals. Don’t think certain equipment is necessary.
Too much gear. Should have more than one person on board.
2kg fire extinguisher to bulky for 5m boat. Don’t want black ball (not necessary). I would like to see the compass and chart or electronic navigation device be the same for new vessels. Ie. Not all three. Think a horn is unnecessary within 2nm.
Send out a list of the right information and items list so we can get the right gear. I have been boarded twice now and been told twice of different items that I need to purchase I’ve done this and then bought it again and got told that I didn’t need to buy these items so use need to be all on the same page and stop all of this bullshit send out a list of what we really need to have and stick to it
At present you are making rules for one industry and not all, even though recreational fisherman have high paying careers and can afford changes more than anybody and are going to sea with less experience and more frequently than your average commercial operator as it’s becoming uneconomical to do so, the current and proposed lists are hurting us financially in combination with other fisheries rule changes.
It is becoming hard to justify going to work at all anymore in fear of getting fines that make your average ice head granny basher bolt in fear. At present a lot of us commercial operators are suffering from ptsd from enforcement officers focusing efforts on commercial industry so much we have nightmares at night and suicide is killing us more than any ocean could especially when you spend half your time at sea filling in logbooks and safety management books and fisheries books when you should be getting rest and sleep instead to operate safely instead of worrying constantly you going to get boarded and totally destroyed for compliance over paperwork which has no bearing on safety at all no matter how an officer tries to justify it.
Pending cost and practicality
Requirement for wearing of PLB
The new proposed changes are much more practical and should definitely include multiple crew not just a single operator. The requirement to carry some of the new safety equipment (life raft, life ring etc.) in small inshore crabbing and netting outfits is impractical and can take up significant room in what can often be a purpose designed work vessel and can also be dangerous when trying to accommodate some of these items in the confined space available especially with a full payload. The draft equipment lists are definitely practical and should be made to include multiple crew not just a single crew/operator. I think that AMSA should revisit some of the requirements for commercial vessels regarding survey as this has made new for old replacement and upgrade of small work vessels very difficult if not impossible and has had a very serious impact on the industry. Also clearly define the ability of other agencies/departments to enforce requirements especially some QB&F officers as the last few years they have used these new requirements to make things very difficult in some more remote areas of operation.
I think in 3E waters it should be the same safety equipment as used on recreational fishing boats.
This list is inconsistent with other safety equipment lists that require vessels to have a lifering even if they only have one crew member and the size of the vessel makes it impractical. When AMSA is asked why this is required the answer is to fulfil SOLAS obligations if you locate someone who needs to be rescued. Does warmer water for some reason negate SOLAS obligations or is the answer AMSA gives to other operators when they question the need for a lifering just lip service or a lie to operators.
Rather that developing a list specific to areas that is not consistent with all other AMSA equipment lists AMSA should review all safety equipment lists and develop consistent and logical requirements that relate to the vessel size and type of operation.
I believe every vessel should carry a defibrillator these days.
Show safety equipment pictures and information at the boat ramps, and the pontoons.
Definitely on the right path with this kind of thing ask the people who do it each day.
Its great to see you are asking the people who do this work.
Kali type life boats instead of inflatables. Our operation is typically a day boat, in warmish waters. Our biggest risk is bar crossing, doubtful if life boats would deploy in shallow water. Boats with positive flotation have NO rafts of any description.
Keep the safety equipment list just like the current recreational safety equipment list in Queensland, this is more than adequate for smooth water operations such as bait gathering, these boats are small an open and usually (tiller steer as in my case) get a fair amount of salt spray, first aid kits should be essential on all boats regardless of size and operational area. Boats working water deeper than 2meters at low tide should have bilge pump/s, my bait operations are conducted in water less than 2 meters at low tide and I spend most of the time out of the boat in the water dragging by hand and mostly working the tide shore contact line back and forth so my feet are on the ground.
There is limited space obviously on smaller vessels and equipment list should reflect that
What we have now is enough
So many proposals (which seem to be legislated at present) are impractical and cannot apply realistically to at least a sub-7 m length boat, probably more like under an 8 m boat.
All paddlers are required to wear a life jacket in NSW. This is an excellent idea for recreational paddlers and fisher people but is DANGEROUS for competitive kayakers who are training or competing. Competitive kayakers and canoeists paddle hard and generate a great deal of body heat which gets trapped by the lifejacket in their core area. This then leads to overheating and serious health effects including heart attack and stroke. Lifejackets for these people are no longer a safety device but one that can KILL. PLEASE, PLEASE work with us to get the rule changed for the safety of our athletes.
Need to let new boat in the industry as there getting older and unsafe but to get one made cost too much
I find that with the current AMSA regulations is often guided by over reaction. The latest upgrade to a float free EBIRB is something that is not needed. We now have 3 EBIRBs on board. I could understand if there was an upgrade initiated when your current EBIRB was due but to just say “as of 1st Jan”. ALL vessels need a float free is just a recipe for the manufacturers to charge what they want. After purchasing mine I found that I had paid over 500 dollars for a plastic cover...total cost of the EBIRB was over $800.
Look at navigation equipment re-assess. Black ball day shape not needed.
No need for day shapes. No horn needed. No life raft needed. No need for ores, try row a 5m tinny impossible.
Safety equipment should be same for Moreton Bay as for 2nm offshore. The proposal should include Moreton Bay.
Less is more. Too much gear overloads small vessels.
Equipment lists need amendment
Protection for fire extinguishers
Most items are good/used for operations. Life rings/raft not practical.
As a Hire and Drive (4C) operator, I find the current requirements unsuitable for our vessels in the area we operate. Our vessels are only small and there isn't sufficient storage options onboard to carry a large fire extinguisher and a bouyant appliance. In addition, our vessels primarily operate along the 5.6km long Lucinda sugar loading jetty which theoretically the vessels need to carry an EPIRB and parachute flares. I believe these items are unnecessary considering the jetty is manned and has a private road which vehicles use frequently. In addition, there are access ladders and platforms along the jetty that could be used by my customers in the event of an emergency.
It is very hard in a hire boat for people to leave the extinguisher alone.
Make rec and commercial the same what is the difference we’re all on the water in the same place doing the same thing what a joke.
Illuminate logbooks and safety management systems that have no bearing on saving lives what so ever and let commercial operators operate and use their little time in between weather windows to concentrate on operating safely and make money without fear of prosecution in a time where 30% of time at sea is taken up with compulsory logbooks from fisheries and such causing us to operate longer in rougher weather with less sleep to make up lost time making it more dangerous than necessary to justify staying in business.
Other general comments
Practice common sense and apply years of acquired knowledge regarding prevailing weather conditions and area of operation and equipment to be used for different aspects of fishing. Comply with regulations regarding safety equipment and maintain training on use of equipment if necessary. Marine radio and cooperation with other fishermen in the area also a key safety factor. In short I believe being 3rd generation in the industry that it is very safe and has an excellent record of safe conduct and is manned by very resourceful people who take the matter of safety very seriously and have maintained an excellent standard of safe conduct long before these additional requirements were forced upon us.
Mick Bishop came to Yeppoon to hold a consultative meeting with the local commercial operators. This was successful and gave the operators a perfect chance to discuss their needs. Much appreciated.
Communication requirements for new vessels are over the top, possibly not required for the task at hand. Navigation requirements for new vessels are also over the top, not required.
No need for day shapes.
No horn needed.
No life raft needed.
No need for ores, impossible to row a 5m boat.
Max have height of 1.5m what happens when weather blows up while working, 1.5m need to be removed.
New vessel safety list should be the same as existing.
No - everyone tries to be safety wise.
Moreton Bay is it under 2nm.