Published on Australian Maritime Safety Authority (

Access to reference materials and resources by coastal pilots—advisory note

This advisory note reminds coastal pilots about the requirement to have access to appropriate resources, including up to date nautical charts to undertake pilotages, as set out in section 44(c) to Marine Order 54 (Coastal pilotage).

Access to relevant navigational information resources is necessary to allow coastal pilots to fulfil their duty to provide information and advice to masters to assist the safe navigation of vessels in compulsory pilotage areas. Reference materials appropriate for each voyage will depend on the location of the coastal pilotage operation. They include (but may not be limited to):

All accessed resources are to be the most up-to-date version available. The use of electronic versions is acceptable. 

If electronic versions are carried solely (i.e. with no backup hard-copies available), all pilots’ electronic devices in use, including laptop computers, tablets, portable pilotage units etc., should be able to remain operable in the event of power loss aboard the piloted vessel, so that the necessary resources can be accessed as required. Such operation may require the use of portable external battery packs / chargers which operate independent of the vessel’s power supply. 

The battery power (including all reserve power available via the use of external battery systems) for all electronic devices used by coastal pilots, should permit all devices to operate independently for the full extent of the coastal pilotage voyage being undertaken. 

If electronic versions of the required resources cannot be accessed in the event of vessel power failure, pilots should consider carrying onboard hard-copies of relevant paper documents, publications, charts and reference materials, as required. 

If electronic versions are carried (only), Check Pilots should (during the conduct of check voyages) simulate the loss of power by requesting the production of the required resource(s) while the pilot’s electronic device is operating on battery power alone.

Last review date

21 September 2020