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Emergency towage vessel capabilities practiced on water

Thursday 29 October 2015
The waters off Townsville in North Queensland will be a hive of activity this week as the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) runs a series of training exercises.
Media Release

Over the next three days, personnel from AMSA’s dedicated emergency towage vessel Coral Knight and local emergency services will test their skills in the areas of pollution response, fire fighting on board a ship, emergency ship towage and search and rescue from a ship.

The Coral Knight operates in the northern Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait and can be tasked by AMSA for emergency towage of ships, search and rescue or pollution response operations.

The exercise will take place off Cape Cleveland.

As part of the pollution response exercise, an oil spill boom will be deployed to simulate the containment of an oil spill.

The search and rescue exercise will practice Coral Knight’s use in a search and rescue response and a Queensland Government helicopter will be involved in the exercise. The towage exercise will also practice the Coral Knight’s capability to tow a broken down bulk carrier.

AMSA’s General Manager Marine Environment, Toby Stone, said the exercise was a great way to practice the capabilities of Coral Knight.

“The likelihood of a maritime casualty in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait area is remote, but if an incident does occur, we need to be ready to respond,” Mr Stone said.

“This exercise exposes crew on board the Coral Knight and local emergency services personnel to a series of simulated incidents.”

“It’s important to practice our drill plans and for local emergency services to be familiar with the capabilities of Coral Knight,” he said.

Coral Knight complements a number of measures in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait region to manage shipping and reduce the risk of incidents. This includes the Vessel Traffic Service, Port State Control inspections, coastal pilotage, and ship routeing measures.