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Shore monitoring of shallow water areas

Issue number: MO-2009-001-SI-03
Who it affects: All VTS operators
Issue owner: Reef VTS
Operation affected: Marine: Shore-based operations
Background: Investigation Report 262-MO-2009-001
Date: 16 December 2010

Safety issue description

The ‘shallow water alert’ generated by the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service’s (REEFVTS) monitoring system did not provide adequate warning of Atlantic Blue entering shallow water because the boundary of the defined shallow water alert area was too close to dangers off Kirkcaldie Reef.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Reef VTS
Action number: MO-2009-001-NSA-026
Date: 16 December 2010
Action status: Closed

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), joint competent authority of REEFVTS, has advised the ATSB that a review of shallow water areas had already been started in late 2008.

The review was conducted by REEFVTS staff from AMSA and Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ). The joint review resulted in a decision to extend shallow water areas so that their boundaries are at least 2.5 miles, where possible, from the nearest shallow water or danger adjacent to a shipping track. These changes were implemented in March 2009, following Atlantic Blue’s grounding, and included enlarging the shallow water area off Kirkcaldie Reef. A process to annually review shallow water areas was introduced after the grounding.

ATSB response:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by REEFVTS adequately addresses the safety issue.

Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Status justification:

The ATSB is satisfied that the action taken by Fleet Management will adequately address the safety issue.

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Last update 06 March 2014