Marine 016/16

Status: Open
Recommendation Date: 
2 August 2016
Recipient Name: 
Marlborough DC
Text:
On 2 August 2016 the Commission recommended that before allowing cruise ships to use Tory Channel in future, the Chief Executive of the Marlborough District Council review its harbour risk assessment for the safe navigation of ships through Tory Channel, and in doing so consider the safe navigation of cruise ships through Tory Channel as a separate risk. The new risk assessment should consider, but not be limited to, the following factors:

- the limited number of piloted ships using Tory Channel make it difficult for harbour pilots to maintain currency
- cruise ship crews will not be familiar with Tory Channel
- harbour pilots will not necessarily be familiar with the manoeuvring characteristics and the navigation equipment of ships they are piloting
- there is only a short time available before transiting Tory Channel for a pilot and a ship’s crew to form a cohesive bridge team
- as well as the Tory Channel entrance itself, the remainder of Tory Channel is narrow, with significant Cook Strait passenger-ferry traffic. In order to help mitigate the risk of collisions between ships under pilotage and passenger ferries, pilots' passage plans would need to be aligned with those of the passenger ferries.
Reply Text:
The Council notes the content of the finalised recommendation but wishes to ensure that the terminology used is fully understood by all parties. In this context, the Council wishes to clarify its understanding of the difference between risk/hazard and control of these to ensure that the Commission has the same understanding.

It is the Council's belief that the risks/hazards associated with transits through Tory Channel Entrance as well as the passage through the Channel are already clearly identified and, although not ship specific, the outcome of the risk/hazard realisation will result in a range of consequences irrespective of the ship type. It is the level of the consequences that drive the associated risk control measures. The Council agrees that the generic controls already identified do not specifically address cruise ships transiting this area and that this is a shortcoming of the existing risk assessment that will be addressed but the risks/hazards are already documented.

The Commission will also be aware that a number of cruise ship specific draft control measures were identified immediately post the Azamara Quest incident and these were forwarded to the Commission's investigation team.

The Commission will have noted that each of these control measure has an associated implementation date and the Council wishes to be satisfied that these dates and control measures are realistic achievable and the costs not at a level that is disproportionate to anticipated traffic volumes. The key to resumption of any cruise ship transit through Tory Channel is the implementation of the identified control measures and until these are in place, transits are permitted through Harbour Master Direction.
Related Investigation(s):