The Administrative Appeals Tribunal last week affirmed the Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s (AMSA) detention of a Liberian flagged vessel SCF Yenisei, in Queensland in October 2013.
The manager of the vessel sought to have the detention of the vessel downgraded at the tribunal, alleging the deficiency identified by an AMSA port marine surveyor was not serious enough to warrant detention.
AMSA Ship Safety Division General Manager Allan Schwartz said the tribunal decision had affirmed AMSA’s decision to detain the vessel, which had sailed to Mackay via Hydrographers Passage from Kawasaki without the appropriate navigational charts.
The vessel planned to continue to Brisbane but was detained after the AMSA surveyor identified that the vessel was using scanned and printed charts to transit Palm Passage of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park waters.
“Having the correct charts to navigate through the Great Barrier Reef, which is notoriously hazardous and of high environmental significance, is critical to ensure the safety of the Reef, the ship and its crew,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said the tribunal’s decision confirmed that reliance on unofficial charts demonstrated inadequate voyage planning under the ships’ safety management system which leaves the ship in an unfit state to encounter the ordinary perils of the voyage without posing a threat to the environment.
This is the second appeal against an AMSA detention on inappropriate navigational charts in the last two years. The tribunal has confirmed the AMSA decision on each occasion.
AMSA continues to remind masters and operators of ships coming to Australia that carriage of appropriate navigational charts is critical to safe ship operations and protection of the marine environment.
AMSA conducts more than 3,000 Port State Control inspections at ports across Australia each year. Last year 233 were detained for having serious deficiencies that put ships, lives or the environment at risk.
“These inspections are part of AMSA’s mission to ensure safety at sea and environmental protection,” Schwartz said.