AMSA update—2023 editions

Read the latest news from AMSA

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AMSA update September 2023

In this edition:

Transitional arrangements expire soon for Coxswain Grade 3 certificate  

If you work on a commercial vessel as an entry-level coxswain, but you haven’t yet applied for the new Coxswain Grade 3 certificate of competency, sometimes called a 'ticket', you may benefit from temporary transitional arrangements for existing workers.

This includes a grace period until 31 December 2023 to obtain a certificate of medical fitness, which is a requirement for this ticket.

Reminder: The new Coxswain Grade 3 certificate of competency replaces the now non-existent Exemption 38 (Low complexity duties).

If you previously worked under this exemption, you must meet the requirements for a Coxswain Grade 3 certificate of competency to continue to work in this capacity.

Hurry though, this transitional arrangement is only in place for people who have been working on boats before 1 January 2023.

Operational safety changes for domestic commercial vessels

On 1 August 2023, a series of changes to Marine Order 504 (Certificates of operation and operation requirements – national law), came into effect and they broadly relate to risk assessments, crewing and safety management systems.

While the changes are not major, they are nuanced and it’s important that owners and operators of domestic commercial vessels understand them and ensure their operations comply with the new requirements.

Our presentation discusses the changes in detail and provides some guidance to help owners and operators comply.

Watch the presentation below.

Focused inspection campaign on new lifejacket risk assessment requirements, training and emergency drills

The changes to Marine Order 504 (Certificates of operation and operation requirements – national law) include new requirements for lifejacket risk assessment, training and emergency drills that have come into effect.

Between 1 October and 30 November 2023, we’ll be conducting a focused inspection campaign on these changes.

Find out more, including the questions you might be asked by a marine inspector.

Risk assessment workshops for Queensland fishing operations

We are holding risk assessment workshops in Queensland for commercial fishers.

These free in-person workshops will provide information and guidance on lifejacket wear requirements that now must be addressed in your safety management system’s risk assessment.

They will be held in several locations in Queensland from September to December 2023. The workshops are scheduled around fishery closures and tailored to the different fisheries, factoring in the different environments and equipment used. 

Hear about maritime safety on the Boating Insights podcast

In the latest episode of the Boating Insights podcast, our beacon expert Linda Berryman talks with Above and Beyond Boating about EPIRBs and PLBs, and the most significant advancements in 406 MhZ beacons since they first became available back in the late 1980s.

Other key topics discussed include why you may need a MMSI and transferring MMSI information, beacon registration and advancements in distress beacons, including AIS-equipped EPIRBS and PLBs and return link service (RLS).

Safe access on domestic commercial vessels

We have issued a new safety alert highlighting the importance of safe access on domestic commercial vessels.

Accessing a vessel while at berth is a routine activity and is sometimes taken for granted.

The requirement for safe access can be overlooked, particularly where there are limited berthing options, or a vessel is only berthed for a short period.

Failing to provide safe access can result in serious risk to people—even more so when bad weather or extreme tidal variation are thrown into the mix.

Have your say on proposed changes to Marine Order 27 (Safety of navigation and radio equipment)

We want your feedback on the proposed changes to Marine Order 27 (Safety of navigation and radio equipment), which relates to navigation safety measures and equipment; radio equipment; and danger, urgency and distress signals and messages.

Consultation is open for 4 weeks. We invite you to provide your feedback until 8 October 2023.

AMSA bans bulk carrier for appalling treatment of seafarers

On 23 August 2023, AMSA banned the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier MSXT Emily from Australian waters for one year. AMSA surveyors found evidence of several violations of the Maritime Labour Convention onboard, including more than $77,000 USD wage theft and coercion.

These are serious matters, and AMSA will not tolerate the mistreatment of seafarers in Australian waters.

Speed and visibility play part in vessel collision

This month’s safety lesson report highlights the importance of being alert to potential risks in low visibility conditions and adhering to safety duties.

Every month we share an overview of a domestic commercial vessel incident investigation and the safety lesson you can learn to ensure safe operations on board your vessel.

Monthly domestic commercial vessel incident report

A crew member sustained a fractured leg and a vessel’s engine space caught fire following an electrical cable issue. These are just some of the occurrences included in the latest incident report.

During July 2023, there were 82 reported incidents involving domestic commercial vessels. Of these, 17 were serious.

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In addition to AMSA update, we also share other content that may be relevant to you and your operation.

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Last updated: 

Wednesday 13 September 2023