Sea­sonal re­minder for port safety

Pilbara News - - News - Robert Dougherty

Peo­ple fish­ing un­der iron ore car­rier berths or in the ma­jor ship­ping chan­nel in the Pilbara are break­ing the law and putting them­selves and other boat users at risk.

Pilbara Ports Au­thor­ity gen­eral man­ager op­er­a­tions John Finch said skippers should be fa­mil­iar with the re­stricted zones and dan­gers in com­ing months be­cause the Christ­mas pe­riod was es­pe­cially busy.

“With an in­crease in recre­ational ves­sel use ex­pected over the fes­tive sea­son, all users are asked to fa­mil­iarise them­selves with the water­side re­stricted zones, stay clear of the ship­ping chan­nel and large ships, and only cross the chan­nel when it is safe to do so,” he said.

“Large ves­sels op­er­ate in and out of the port.

“The com­mu­nity is re­minded that th­ese ves­sels are re­stricted in their abil­ity to change course and their blind spot can ex­tend for hun­dreds of me­tres.”

Mr Finch said ves­sels should re­main out of water­side re­stricted zones in­clud­ing 100m ex­clu­sion zones in place around barges, tugs and sup­port ves­sels.

Odyssey Marine op­er­a­tions man­ager War­wick Cantrall, who over­sees the ves­sels in­volved in the se­cu­rity pa­trols con­ducted within the port of Port Hed­land, said most alerts were recre­ational ves­sels in breach of se­cu­rity zones.

“Recre­ational ves­sels in breach of the 100m se­cu­rity zone from fender line of the berths, and recre­ational ves­sels an­chor­ing in the chan­nel or hang­ing off the mark­ers,” he said.

“There are ob­vi­ously reg­u­lar ves­sels that come in from over­seas and this al­lows us to mon­i­tor any se­cu­rity breaches and also mon­i­tor bulk car­rier ac­tiv­i­ties on be­half of the PPA while in the Port.

“Th­ese in­clude pi­lot lad­der rig­ging, crew main­te­nance ac­tiv­i­ties and ves­sel lines so that they are taut at all times — we’re kind of the eyes and ears of the port.

“A lot of it is on the safety side as well, crew board­ing lad­ders, cargo op­er­a­tions — en­vi­ron­men­tal el­e­ments where we re­move or ad­vise on nav­i­ga­tional haz­ards, mon­i­tor­ing any spills and marine fauna.”

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