AMSA executives hold annual Narooma meeting

EXECUTIVES from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) in Canberra had their annual planning meeting at the Narooma Golf Club last week.

This is the sixth year the two-day meeting was held in sunny Narooma thanks to the authority’s chief executive Graham Peachey, who is a part-time Narooma resident.

AMSA is Australia’s maritime safety regulator. It promotes safety for commercial vessels and ships, conducts search and rescue missions for mariners and aviators who need assistance and protects the marine environment from ship based pollution.

The meeting reviewed the first six months of the National System for Domestic Commercial Vessel Safety.

For the first time, Australia now has one set of consistent standards for domestic commercial vessels.

Australian state and Northern Territory governments work together to deliver services to the maritime community with over 240 delegates around Australia. 

The meeting found the new system is working well but could be improved by reviewing the regulations with a view to providing simpler and less costly safety rules for commercial vessels.

That review has commenced and will continue over the next few months.

On the South Coast, AMSA certificates can be obtained at Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) offices in Narooma, Moruya and Eden.

The meeting reviewed AMSA’s recent rescue of 52 people in Antarctic from the ice bound ship Akademic Shokalskiy.

AMSA coordinated the rescue after the ship sought assistance, and was able to coordinate a helicopter rescue of the Shokalskiy’s passengers in an operation that involved ships from Australia, Russia, China and France and was an excellent example of international cooperation.

In 2013, AMSA coordinated the rescue of more than 8,900 people.

The meeting also noted AMSA has nearly finalised a new contract for maintenance of over 300 “aids to navigation”, including the Montague Island lighthouse.

The new contract will improve the maintenance services and will assist navigation for vessels along the south coast.

The meeting also noted the increased shipping traffic coming to Australia.

In 2012, 5338 international ships made over 25,000 port calls in Australia.

The meeting looked at new ship routing and advisory measured to assist the safe management of shipping traffic in busy shipping routes in Australia.

The AMSA corporate video and Facebook and Twitter links can be found at www.amsa.gov.au

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