Marine safety issues and actions

Weather related matters

Issue number: MO-2014-003-SI-03
Who it affects: All ships operating in the Port of Fremantle
Issue owner: Fremantle Port Authority (Fremantle Ports)
Operation affected: Marine: Shipboard operations
Background: Investigation Report 308-MO-2014-003
Date: 13 October 2015

Safety issue description

While the Fremantle vessel traffic service (VTS) operational procedures were aimed at having precautionary measures in place for adverse weather conditions, the triggers specified in the procedures only referred to BoM-issued severe weather and gale warnings. As no wind speed limits were specified, the gale force winds experienced at Fremantle throughout the early hours of 8 May did not trigger the VTS procedural responses until 0600 – after the receipt of BoM-issued warnings.

Proactive Action

Action organisation: Fremantle Port Authority (Fremantle Ports)
Action number: MO-2014-003-NSA-023
Date: 13 October 2015
Action status: Closed

Fremantle Ports advised the ATSB that it has taken the following safety action:

  • subscription to the Weatherzone weather program, specifically configured for Fremantle Ports, displaying real time weather data
  • weather, wind and lighting warning messages automatically sent to designated staff and pilots
  • VTS officers are trained in the use of the Weatherzone program and the interpretation of data to identify deteriorating weather conditions
  • a new weather station and upgraded VTS equipment with enhanced vessel plotting and monitoring systems has been installed at the VTS tower
  • amendments to VTS operational procedures instructing the VTS officers to contact the duty harbour master if there is any risk or concern, or if gale force winds are experienced.
  • six Shoretension Devices have been installed in the inner harbour, and six further such devices are to be installed.
Current issue status: Adequately addressed
Status justification:

The ATSB considers that the proactive safety action taken will adequately address this safety issue.

Last update 13 October 2015