The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) advised the ATSB that:
AMSA and MSQ (Maritime Safety Queensland) jointly work to ensure REEFVTS provides an effective service. The vessel traffic service has adopted an ongoing performance monitoring regime to help ensure continuous improvement in a changing environment.
AMSA recognises there may be additional training opportunities with regards to exchange of information to/from REEFVTS which can be addressed by the pilot training review currently in progress. REEFVTS’s role is actively communicated to pilots through regular coastal pilot meetings. All pilots are provided with the REEFVTS User Guide and are encouraged to visit the service’s operations centre.
In response to the safety issue, AMSA will re-invigorate REEFVTS stakeholder interaction. The goal will be to provide opportunities for greater information exchange, with a focus on the pilots, pilot providers, regulators and other users as appropriate.
The current status of REEFVTS electronic systems are well developed, with annual reviews carried out. Additional electronic warning opportunities will be investigated, in consultation with industry experts.
AMSA notes that the hiring and training of VTSOs (vessel traffic service operators) is carried out by MSQ, as detailed in the Memorandum of Understanding on the functional delivery of REEFVTS. VTSOs are trained to international best practice (IALA V-103) and are employed by MSQ.
In addition, AMSA advised that REEFVTS’s electronic systems and mechanisms to detect hazardous situations and provide timely warnings to ships to help avoid groundings have been extended to the service’s southern boundary located off Gladstone.
The ATSB is satisfied that the action proposed by AMSA should adequately address the safety issue.