Marine 003/19

Status: Closed
Recommendation Date: 
21 February 2019
Recipient Name: 
PrimePort Timaru
Date Closed: 
30 August 2019
Text:
The responsibility for the safety and security of a vessel moored alongside a harbour wharf lies with both the vessel and the port operator. Notwithstanding that joint responsibility it remains an important function of a port to ensure that the wharf structure and mooring system is adequate for any vessel that intends to use it.

Section 7 of this report draws attention to the work that PrimePort Timaru is currently undertaking, and the work it is planning to undertake, to improve the condition and reliability of its wharves, associated mooring systems and mooring procedures.

Until all of the improvement work has been completed, it is important that the port ensures that the infrastructure and procedures in place at any given time are suitable for any vessel intending to use the port.

On 21 February 2019 the Commission recommended to the Chief Executive of PrimePort Timaru that, until all the planned improvement work is completed, a ship-to-berth risk assessment be undertaken for all vessels intending to use the port. The assessment should identify whether a berth is safe for a vessel to remain alongside, define any operational limits or restrictions and identify any additional control measures that may be required. This information should be passed to the ship prior to arrival.
Reply Text:
PrimePort Timaru can confirm that recommendation 003/19 has been fully implemented from February 2018.

As TAIC will be aware, the Harbour Master is an appointee of the regional council, who is under a duty to ensure the maritime safety of ports in that region. The Harbour Master regularly makes extensive enquiries of the Port and is provided with the Port Engineer's sixmonthly assessment of berths. The Harbour Master issues Directions from time to time which, for example, determine the operating requirements and limitations that apply to vessels using the Port and to the Port itself.

Under these Directions, vessels must ask the Port for a berth at least 24 hours in advance. The Port must receive a declaration as to the particulars of the vessel. The Port will then determine if the Master holds the relevant Pilot Exemption Certificate (PEC) issued by Maritime New Zealand under Part 90 of the Maritime Rules. A PEC will not normally be issued for any vessel above 120m LOA.

Where a PEC is held, the vessel will be directed to a berth with prior approval for that vessel type from the Harbour Master under his powers contained in Part 3A of the Maritime Transport Act 1994. Monthly meetings are conducted with the Harbourmaster and Maritime New Zealand. Infrastructure is a topic on the agenda. The Harbour Master will have regard to prior use of the berth and the port engineer's assessment in determining the grant of approval.

If a PEC is not held by the Master, then a Port Assessment will be jointly completed between the ship and the Port prior to arrival. Further pre-arrival information will also be passed onto the Master via the vessel's shipping agents.

The Port Assessment considers relevant factors such as wind conditions, the dimensions (LOA, draft) of the largest vessel to have called at the port, and the official restrictions of the Port and berths imposed by the Harbour Master and navigation safety bylaws.

Pilots work to a pilot procedure guide agreed by all the pilots, applying the Harbour Master's Directions and navigation safety bylaws. The guide details matters relevant to assessing risks such as standard mooring guides for use at Timaru, high wind procedures for each wharf and operating criteria in different environmental conditions. Pilots must receive from Masters a 'Pilot Information Card' as set out in the pilots' pre-movement checklist. Pilots work with Masters using the mooring guide and passage plan to determine safe piloting of the vessel to an appropriate berth, with Masters having the final say as to the manner in which the vessel is made and declared fast.

The Port will also respond to specific requests for information or audits from vessel operators such as Coastal Oil Logistics Ltd or cruise liners, using forms such as the Marine Terminal Criteria & Assessment Questionnaire. Audits cover matters such as jetty or berth structure, and the systems and operations used.
Related Investigation(s):