TasPorts this week will commence a comprehensive Marine Pilot Familiarisation Program onboard RSV Nuyina in the Port of Hobart as part of the pathway to enabling the vessel to transit the Tasman Bridge to refuel at Self’s Point Fuel Terminal.
Between Friday 1 April – Friday 8 April 2022, RSV Nuyina will undertake a number of vessel movements in and around the Port of Hobart for up to three hours at a time, between Sullivans Cove and John Garrow Beacon off Sandy Bay Point.
The satisfactory completion of the program, as well as further simulation exercises at the Australian Maritime College’s (AMC) state-of-the-art simulator, are the critical next steps in the $529 million icebreaker receiving final clearance to undertake its first transit of the Tasman Bridge to refuel at Selfs Point Fuel Terminal.
TasPorts Chief Executive Officer Anthony Donald said the rigour of the risk assessments completed to date demonstrate the port authority’s commitment to ensuring the highest standards of maritime safety.
“Ensuring our team of highly qualified and experienced Marine Pilots are familiar with this bespoke vessel and the way it manoeuvres is pivotal to providing final clearance for the RSV Nuyina to undertake its first transit,” Mr Donald said.
“Subject to scheduled shipping, TasPorts will be undertaking the Marine Pilot familiarisation during the first week of April 2022. This program will see RSV Nuyina’s Vessel Master, Bridge team and Engineering teams joined by TasPorts Southern Marine Pilots onboard the vessel, as they undertake a range of on-water testing.
“The crews will work collaboratively, to assess the ship’s response for stopping, turning and course keeping, in a range of conditions that would be similar to those encountered during a transit of the Tasman Bridge. This experience will give the Marine Pilots a first-hand understanding of the vessel’s manoeuvrability, particularly to wind, due to the increased windage of the vessel.”
“This will be a unique operation and will be the first time many will see this type of testing on the River Derwent. Community members observing the activities should not be alarmed or concerned by the vessel movements, however we ask that recreational vessels on the water maintain their distance from the vessel at all times to ensure these operations can be undertaken safely,” he said.
Mr Donald said a transit of the Tasman Bridge requires precision planning and teamwork between the vessel’s bridge crew and marine pilots, however also requires collaboration with TasPorts Towage crew and Marine Operatives, as well as our Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Operatives who oversee all shipping movements in Tasmania.
“The familiarisation program will include participation from TasPorts towage crews, Marine Operatives onboard Pilot vessel Kelly, as well as TasPorts Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) and Harbour Master. Working together, the familiarisation will provide an opportunity to assess towage escort for the ship, due to its bespoke nature. In particular, the crews will assess the process for establishing the required connection, whilst under steam,” he said.
“Following the onboard familiarisation, the Pilots will return to the AMC Ship Simulator to make further comparisons and assessment of the vessel’s response to varying conditions of wind and current, whilst transiting the Tasman Bridge.
“In due course, an initial set of environmental parameters for the transit will be established, with the objective to enable the vessel to complete its first transit of the Tasman Bridge in late 2022,” Mr Donald said.