Emergency towage capability

We manage national arrangements for an emergency towage capability under the National Plan for Maritime Environmental Emergencies.

Emergency towage is an important part of our maritime casualty management capabilities. It is part of the initial response to assist a vessel that is incapacitated and in danger of grounding, sinking or causing pollution.

Emergency towage capability is supported by authorities who manage the risks within their respective jurisdictions.

It involves three levels of capability:

  • A dedicated emergency towage vessel operating in Far North Queensland and the Torres Strait provided by the vessel Coral Knight, based in Cairns.
  • Contracted port towage around the other major Australian ports capable of undertaking open water towage operations.
  • Vessels of opportunity that can be directed or contracted to assist, when required.

Marine Notice 4/2016 reminds owners, masters and agents of ships of their responsibilities to report and resolve maritime incidents, and that costs that we incur during a maritime incident may be recovered from the vessel’s owners.

emergency towage vessel map

Download the Emergency towage capability map (PDF 100 KB) (PDF 1003.08 KB).

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Last updated: 

Monday 9 November 2020