Marine safety issues and actions

Forecast terminology

Issue number: MO-2014-009-SI-04
Who it affects: Port and ship operators
Issue owner: Fremantle Port Authority (Fremantle Ports)
Operation affected: Marine: Shipboard operations
Background: Investigation Report 313-MO-2014-009
Date: 04 May 2016

Safety issue description

Fremantle Ports’ staff did not understand the significance of some wind and weather terminology used in the BoM forecast. Consequently, port procedures triggered by a BoM ‘gale’ or ‘severe weather’ warning such as preparing the tugs and calling the harbour master were not followed.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Fremantle Ports
Action number: MO-2014-009-NSA-029
Date: 04 May 2016
Action status: Closed

Fremantle Ports advised the ATSB that the harbour master issued instruction HM01/14 on 29 August 2014 to clarify the berthing parameters for ships using NQ12 Common User Berth. The port’s procedures and its ship warning notice have been updated to include:

  • the wind speed in conjunction with the term strong wind warning and gale force winds,
  • the addition of the term ‘severe thunderstorm’ with the wind speed,
  • the advice that gust strength may be 40 per cent higher than the predicted wind speed,
  • the warning that ships could experience sudden and excessive surge due to water movement.
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Status justification:

Fremantle Ports’ revised procedures in combination with the new weather information system and equipment will allow the port to better manage adverse weather events.

Last update 04 May 2016