Regulation 71 of the Marine and Safety (Pilotage and Navigation) Regulations 2017 provides for the declaration of a specified area surrounding any vessel navigating to be a prohibited area for other vessels or persons.
Vessels under pilotage have right of way over all other vessels (including rowing vessels, sailing vessels and kayaks) within a port area at all times. A vessel under pilotage may choose to use the services of an escort vessel, to assist with a clear passage to and from the vessel’s intended berth.
When a vessel is engaged in escort duties in accordance with this notice, it will display a blue flashing light. This is to indicate to all waterways users that the vessel is engaged in escort duties at that time. The escort vessel will then proceed at an appropriate distance in front of the intended track of the vessel under pilotage.
Marine and Safety Tasmania declares that a prohibited area exists:
- between the escort vessel and the vessel under pilotage,
- 60 metres either side of the vessel under pilotage,
- 60 metres astern of the vessel under pilotage, or any tug attached to the vessel under pilotage.
If a vessel passes between the escort vessel and the vessel under pilotage, or enters into any other part of the prohibited area, then an infringement notice may be issued.
Cruise ships often leave Macquarie Wharf by going astern, before turning to proceed out of the port. To reflect the intended track of the ship during departure, the escort vessel may be positioned astern of the vessel during this manoeuvre.
Mariners are advised that the escort vessel may at times be obscured by land infrastructure to some waterway users. Therefore, if a large commercial vessel is approaching a wharf, then mariners should assume that the escort vessel may be out of sight, give the vessel a wide berth, and not pass ahead of the vessel under pilotage.