The Port Procedures manual for Townsville allowed shipping agents to request a tug reduction without the knowledge of the ship’s master.
The action taken by Maritime Safety Queensland and the Pilotage Service will eliminate the likelihood of an unexpected tug reduction.
The tug reduction requesting procedure had been revised. The application now requires a declaration by the ship’s master that an assessment of the intended manoeuvre has been undertaken. Further, the application notes that should a pilot recommend an additional tug, it may result in delays to the ship’s scheduled manoeuvre. This revision should remove the possibility that the shipping agent has acted without the consent of the master. In addition, the delays to berthing are known and accepted by the ship’s master.