If you’re navigating in the same waters regularly it’s easy to become complacent! Too many Master’s simply don’t take it seriously enough which results in incidents resulting in damage to or loss of the vessel and/or minor to critical injuries to loss of life or damage to infrastructure.

Navigating safely is something we all should do every time we or our crew operate our vessels!

Unfortunately, it’s not always the case and that can be for a number of reasons, one of which there is no set procedure for safe operation.

While on commercial vessels, Masters have been trained in the COLREGS.  There are a few that seem to disregard their responsibility in navigating safely.

On recreational vessels, owners or Masters do not go through the same level of training as commercial Masters which has been a common cause of marine incidents over the years.

Fatigue is also a major contributor to marine incidents around navigation. Long working hours, a lack of water intake and limited sleep are contributors to incidents when navigating your vessel.

Here’s an example a crew member was on watch whilst steaming home from around 180NM off the coast. The First Mate came up from his cabin to use the head at around 0230 hours and as he walked through the wheelhouse he looked out the front window.

What he saw scared the hell out of him, there was a large trawler less than 200 metres directly ahead and if he had not came up they would have had a major collision. The crew member on watch was “zoned out” and just staring ahead and failed to register anything.

There’s two issues here, firstly the First Mates boat was steaming at around 8 knots with nobody alert to recognise the danger.

Secondly, what were the crew of the trawler doing? Most likely all asleep and failing to maintain a proper lookout.

This entire situation is a result of not navigating safely and poor watchkeeping all of which can and has led to serious incidents, loss of vessels and critical injuries through to loss of lives!

With the technology available today, navigation is so much easier than it was years ago but… what happens if there’s an electrical failure onboard and you loose all navigational equipment other than your magnetic compass?

It’s a simple task when steaming to note your position at set times, say every two hours in your log book or on a paper so as they can be referenced if you lose your electronic navigational equipment.

During training exercises we found that shutting down the electronic equipment on a vessel then asking the Masters’ in training where we are and how do we get back to shore some were totally dismayed.

Here’s a silly hint: If you’re on the East coast by steaming West you’re going to discover Australia eventually! Remember though that you need to take into account all potential hazards such as islands, reefs, shoals, etc. but you can find these on your paper chart if needed.

Navigation is all about going from one location to another safely. Your SMS should have a Navigating Safely procedure which details what’s required to ensure your voyage is completed safely.

In order to protect you as a vessel owner and/or operator developing a procedure for navigating your vessel safely provides you with a level of protection should your Master decide not to follow the procedure. This applies to both commercial and recreational vessels!

So…let’s look at what’s required in your procedure to provide that level of protection:

  • Ensure all relevant crew are trained and are competent in the use of the vessel’s navigation equipment such as radar, compass, GPS, other devices and all alarms;
  • Inspect, maintain or have serviced all of the vessel’s navigational aids;
  • Update charts, information, etc… relevant to your operations;
  • Plan voyages;
  • Sounding appropriate signals such as going astern;
  • Monitoring of the vessels position by all available means;
  • Following procedures for operating in restricted visibility (you do have one don’t you?);
  • Communicating with other vessels when required;
  • Monitoring the auto pilot for correct course.

These are the basic steps required to ensure your procedure for navigating safely covers the requirements.

You need to include any specific steps that may be relevant to your vessel and its operations to ensure you meet those requirements.

Also, there is a significant difference in navigating safely on a clear sunny day to navigating at night or in restricted visibility. Much greater care needs to be taken when navigating at night or in restricted visibility due to the increased dangers involved.

All too often we see vessels, both commercial and recreational being operated at night or in periods of restricted visibility as though it was a clear sunny day!

If navigating in restricted visibility, at night or in at times when vision is obscured in areas by the sun in areas where potential hazards exist place a lookout on the bow and proceed at reduced speed.

Vessel speed, lack of attention or being distracted are the cause of accidents which have resulted in injuries through to loss of life and/or damage to infrastructure or the environment.

Many if not all of the incidents could have been avoided by practicing safe navigation and remember navigating safely also has a direct linkage to watchkeeping.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Our recommendation is to either review your Navigating Safely procedure or if you don’t have one..  get it in place today!

While we all like to think your crew will navigate your vessel safely, unfortunately it’s not always the case.  That’s why having a Navigating Safely procedure in place is critical.


Use the dot point items in this newsletter to get you underway with updating your procedure or developing one if you don’t already have it in place.

If you have any problems developing your Navigating Safely procedure or feel you have special circumstances – don’t hesitate to contact our office for assistance as we’re here to help you!

Stay safe by navigating safely at all times!

We will keep this short….. YES   YES   YES!


This year, 2023, has seen many changes in our industry already, and we are only in February!

With the recent changes to Marine Order 504 and the release of Marine Order 505 last month, an Annual Review of your SMS is not only necessary but critical!

All Safety Management Systems including those developed for Domestic Commercial Vessels (DCV) under Marine Order 504 and the ones developed for workplaces under Work Health and Safety are required to undergo an Annual Review or Audit to ensure compliance.

Failure to complete your Annual Review or Audit leaves you non-compliant and exposed to legal action in the event of an incident or accident.

Your vessel’s SMS should be based on a risk assessment of your operations. It should describe how safety, maintenance and operation is managed on your vessel.  This should also be reviewed Annually to ensure the risk assessment remains accurate to your vessel and/or operations.

AMSA can and will conduct periodic reviews of your Safety Management System and Operations.  With the changes that we have seen already this year, we certainly envisage this will be on the increase for 2023!

It has never been more important to ensure your SMS meets NSCV and Marine Order 504 and 505.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

My recommendation is to get out your SMS today, take a look at it thoroughly!

Also, take a close look at your vessel, business and operations to see where and how you can better adapt to the ongoing business climate and the changes to our industry.

Don’t wait!


My top tip is to ensure your safety management systems comply with the relevant standards and are up to date to ensure you’re protected as both AMSA and WorkSafe are going to be very active this year.

Not sure? We are always here to help.  Drop us a line or call to discuss your concerns.

Also, help a mate in the industry! If you know of a fellow mariner and/or business owner, let them also know of the critical nature of Annual Reviews and we are also happy to discuss with them and offer free assessments of their current SMS.

When undertaking recent audits on vessels it became clear that many Masters’ either forgot or didn’t know the full extent of their responsibilities.

While most, and I say most Master’s know how to operate the vessel many have not kept up to date with current requirements such as keeping log books, running drills, recording inductions and training, etc.

In this day and age is critical to ensure your paperwork is up to date at all times. Should an incident occur and its not recorded in the log book or reported (reportable incidents only) then you could be in big trouble.

Section 5 of Marine Order 504 states that the Master has a responsibility for ensuring that operational requirements are being complied with. Operational requirements is not just driving the vessel it includes but is not limited to the following:

  1. Complying with the organisations policies
  2. Implementing the vessels Safety Management System (SMS)
  3. Following all of the operational procedures and emergency procedures
  4. Inducting new crew members onto the vessel and the SMS
  5. Undertaking regular ongoing training (drills) to ensure all crew members are competent in dealing with emergency situations
  6. Recording all drills appropriately
  7. Maintaining the vessels Log Book
  8. Ensuring the vessel, machinery and equipment are operated properly and well maintained
  9. Identifying repairs and/or maintenance that needs to be addressed
  10. Ensuring maintenance records are maintained and up to date at all times
  11. Maintaining passenger records (passenger vessels only)
  12. Documenting and reporting marine incidents to AMSA


Vessels Deck Log Book

This is one of areas most neglected by many Masters and it’s the one area that can cause major issues if not completed properly. Section 11 in MO504 specifies that a log book must include details of the following:

  1. any illness or injury of persons onboard;
  2. any marine incident, other incident or accident involving the vessel or its equipment;
  3. any assistance rendered to another vessel;
  4. any unusual occurrence or incident;
  5. all communications and messages sent or received for an emergency;
  6. all passenger counts conducted for the vessel;
  7. any operation of the vessel for recreational purposes.

So many log books we’ve reviewed fall short on so many points.


Reporting Marine Incidents

This is another area that often gets overlooked which can have serious repercussions to both the Master and vessel owner.

There are two (2) forms that should be completed as soon as is reasonably practicable following the incident and these are:

  1. Incident alert (Form 18)

This form alerts AMSA that there has been a marine incident and can be filled in online but must be completed and submitted to reports@amsa.gov.au by the owner or master as soon as reasonably practicable* after becoming aware of the incident.

Go to Form 18 by clicking on this link: amsa-18-incident-alert-form.pdf

  1. Incident Report (Form 19)

This form provides all the details about the incident, vessels involved and any injuries and must be completed by the owner or Master and submitted to reports@amsa.gov.au within 72 hours of the incident. Go to Form 19 by clicking on this link amsa-19-incident-report-form.pdf

If you would like to find out more about marine incident reporting by clicking on the link below.

Marine incident reporting (amsa.gov.au)

Marine pollution must also be reported. Find out more about pollution reporting by clicking on this link General marine pollution reporting (amsa.gov.au)

If you employ crew, including Masters you should have your own specific requirements for your Master or Masters’ but there are legal responsibilities every Master must comply with.

The Master has the overriding authority and responsibility to make decisions with respect to safety and pollution prevention.

Note that means when operational and does not mean that the Master can make changes to policies and/or procedures without the approval of the owner. Also be aware that if changes are made they must be recorded in the appropriate manner.


Top recommendation is ensure you or your Masters’ know exactly what their responsibilities are and what’s expected of them. if you’re the Master it’s up to you to ensure you comply will all the current requirements.

If you’re a vessel owner and engage Masters’ then it is your responsibility to ensure all Masters’ know exactly what is expected of them and their requirements to ensure full compliance.


If you engage Masters’ under an agreement or contract of any kind you must ensure they are fully aware of the responsibilities and conditions in their contract. Too many Masters’ will sign a document without reading it first. Best tip is to help them out and go through it in detail with them. this can save a lot of potential problems down the road.

Need a Log Book? Click Here for our range of Log Books that were ‘designed by a mariner for a mariner’ with Free Postage!

More on what you need to know in relation to Marine Order 505 which was released this January 2023 and how they may impact your operations.

We’ve had ongoing detailed discussions with AMSA over what I’m about to detail for you.

If you operate a DCV with deckhands then they need to have a General Purpose Hand (GPH) certificate.

No matter what industry sector you operate in, commercial fishing, charter, etc. all deckhands are required to hold a GPH certificate.

Here is what’s required!

Below is an extract from AMSA advice. What is basically means is that if you provide direct supervision to a deckhand they do not require a GPH certificate.

With a GPH certificate they only require general supervision.

When is a General Purpose Hand NC certificate required?

General Purpose Hand NC can:

  1. Assist with deck work on a vessel <100 m long and <3000 GT <EEZ under general supervision of the Master of the vessel or an appropriately certified crew member to whom the Master delegates the supervision
  1. Assist with engine work on a vessel with engine power <3000 kW <EEZ under general supervision of the Chief Engineer of the vessel or an appropriately certified crew member to whom the chief engineer delegates the supervision

Note: This means that a person assisting with deck work or engine work under direct supervision rather than general supervision is not required to hold a certificate

Under the new MO505, section 4:

Deck work means operation or lookout tasks for any of the following:

  • navigation
  • mooring
  • anchoring
  • cargo

Engine work means tasks relating to main or auxiliary machinery used for any of the following:

  • propulsion
  • mooring
  • anchoring
  • cargo

Direct supervision means that the person being supervised is frequently within sight and hearing of the supervisor.

General supervision means that the person being supervised receives instruction and direction on tasks, and recurrent personal contact from the supervisor, but is not frequently attended by the supervisor.

To download Marine Order 505 click on this link Marine order 505—Certificates of competency—national law (amsa.gov.au)

There are transitional arrangements for GPH’s, you can read these by clicking on the link below.

Transitional arrangements for General Purpose Hand (amsa.gov.au)

In summary if you can provide direct supervision to your deckhand or deckhands they do not need to hold a GPH certificate.

If they have a GPH certificate they still must be supervised under the General Supervision rule.

We would be more than happy to hear your response to these changes. Please email your comments to wayne@shorlink.com as he is keen to hear them.


Our only recommendation is consider your operations and how the requirements for deckhands to hold a GPH certificate and how it impacts on you both operationally and financially.

You then have to determine if your operations allow you to provide direct supervision or if you are going to require deckhands to hold a GPH certificate.


If you need help with any of the new laws please contact our office as these changes can have a major impact on your business both operationally and financially.

What you need to know in relation to Marine Orders 504 and 505 which were released this January 2023 and how they may impact your operations.

We’ve had detailed discussions with AMSA and the bottom line is if you operate a DCV where you have a crew member stand watch, referred to as a deck or navigation watch you will be required to have a second Mater onboard.

That’s right, if you normally appoint a watchkeeper so as you can rest, sleep or do other work you’ll need to have another Master with the appropriate ticket onboard.

For example if you have a 23mtr vessel you’ll need two (2) Masters onboard who hold a current Master <24 m NC ticket.

Here is what’s required

Marine Order 504 Schedule 1 Clause (17) specifies that a deck/navigation watchkeeper must be qualified in accordance with Clause 7.3 of Subsection 7B of the NSCV Part C. The requirement is for the watchkeeper to hold a Long Range Operator Certificate of Proficiency (or higher).

To download Marine Order 504 click on this link : Marine order 504—Certificates of operation and operation requirements—national law (amsa.gov.au)

Download a copy of NSCV C7B by clicking on this link : NSCV C7B – Communications equipment (amsa.gov.au)

Marine Order 505 Schedule 1 Duties and functions for which a certificate of competency is required is where you’ll find what their duties are limited too.

To download Marine Order 505 click on this link : Marine order 505—Certificates of competency—national law (amsa.gov.au)

In Marine Order 505 Schedule 3 Eligibility and sea service requirements identifies what courses are required to attain specific certificates of competency.

Marine Order 505 also specifies that to undertake a Navigational Watch or be a deck watchkeeper the following applies (see below for definitions):

For inshore waters: Coxswain Grade 1 NC.

For offshore operations: Master <24 m NC. This enables the holder to act as a deck watchkeeper on vessels <100 m and <3000 GT <EEZ

Inshore Waters means non-tidal waters

Offshore Operations means vessel operations that are:

  • within 200 nm seaward of the baseline of:
  • the Australian mainland; or
  • the Tasmanian mainland; or
  • a recognised island; and
  • in waters to the outer limits of the EEZ.

Here is the wording direct from AMSA identifying who is not permitted to be in charge of a navigational watch.

A person is not in charge of a navigational watch when working:

  • as a general-purpose hand (this means a deckhand, certified as a GPH or not)
  • as a navigational watch rating
  • under training
  • to assist a master
  • under the direct supervision of the person in charge of the vessel

You can read it yourself by clicking on this link : Qualifying near coastal sea service (amsa.gov.au) and scrolling down to In Charge of  a Navigational Watch.

I’ve had, and still having ongoing discussions with AMSA in relation to this highlighting the:

  1. lack of suitably qualified Masters’ with experience in the required areas of operation;
  2. impracticality of dual Masters’ on DCV’s, especially in vessels up to 40mtrs;
  3. economic/financial impact on operators;
  4. added stress and anxiety this is going to cause owners and operators;
  5. potential for depression and potential suicide; and
  6. applying of “big ship” operational procedures to DCV’s.

Here’s two of the responses I got from AMSA:

  1. “you’ll just have to employee another Master”; and
  2. “in the consultation process many owners agreed to this along with insurance companies”

The bottom line is that for many your SMS may have to be updated along with the Appropriate Crewing Calculator to reflect these changes.

We would be more than happy to hear your response to these changes. Please email your comments to wayne@shorlink.com as he is keen to hear them.


Our primary recommendation is consider your operations and how these impacts on them both operationally and financially. You then have to implement changes in crewing and/or how you operate.



If you need help with any of the new laws, please contact our office as these changes can have a major impact on your business both operationally and financially.

Don’t let this happen to you!

This newsletter is to remind you that just having a safety management system in place may not be the protection you thought it provided.

An incident in 2020 which left an employee with hip and foot fractures resulted in a not-for-profit organisation being fined $30,000.

The organisation was found guilty under sections 19(1) and 32 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 for failing its primary health and safety duty and that failure exposed an individual to a risk of death or serious injury.

At the time, the organisation had a warehouse where paid employees and unpaid volunteers worked.

A paid worker was operating a forklift to move goods between the warehouse building and vehicles in the loading zone. Contrary to the defendant’s work instruction, a volunteer entered the loading zone to take a break.

The worker drove the forklift into the loading zone and didn’t see the other man who was standing near a truck and a stack of pallets. The forklift ran into the volunteer who suffered fractures to his right pelvis and foot that required hospital treatment.

The court heard the organisation failed to adequately ensure workers complied with its policies and procedures for eliminating or minimising the potential for contact between pedestrians and moving plant.

Workers had not been sufficiently trained, and there was no system to enforce, its work instruction prohibiting pedestrians from being in a loading zone at the front of the warehouse.

The organisation’s work instruction prohibited pedestrian workers from entering or remaining in the loading zone.

The organisations failure to ensure compliance with its work instruction was a failure of its health and safety duty. That failure exposed workers to the risk of death or serious injury from contact with moving plant.

In sentencing, the Acting Magistrate noted there was a high onus on duty-holders under the Act for good reason, given the potential for injury and death when duties are not complied with.

Even though the defendant was a non-profit charitable organisation that functions for community benefit, his Honour recognised its non-compliance with work health and safety obligations justified a need to convey a deterrent message.

His Honour noted the organisation had relevant procedures in place, including an induction process, but agreed with the prosecution’s submission that the incident was indicative of erosion in the defendant’s enforcement of those procedures.

His Honour remarked there was an element of complacency that ultimately led to the materialisation of the risk.

The organisation was fined $30,000, plus costs of almost $1600. No conviction was recorded.

This incident, subsequent investigations and legal proceedings and outcomes are another harsh reminder all business’s, including charitable organisations have an obligation to always keep their workers and volunteers safe.

Shorlink Recommendation

Our best recommendation is to always ensure your safety management system is in place and up to date with current requirements at all times, including policies and procedures.

A failure to do so may see you in the same position as the organisation noted in this newsletter!


Best tip, BE COMPLIANT and make sure every facet of your SMS is correct and up-to-date.  Not sure? You only need to contact us!

Welcome to 2023, a year filled with great potential following on from the pandemic!


Start the New Year on the right foot.

Housekeeping is required!


To help, we’ve included a few items to ensure you stay on top of things that often get overlooked.


1. Safety Management Systems (SMS)

To ensure you remain complaint your SMS needs to be up to date with the latest MO504 requirements including being reviewed every year.

As the maritime industry becomes more busy, AMSA can and will increase inspections.  Don’t be one of the many who are complacent about ensuring it is up-to-date AND reviewed every year.

2. Training

Is a vital part of not only being compliant but protecting both your crew and vessels.

Just thinking about it is not enough, you must undertake regular training (drills) to ensure your crew can deal with onboard emergencies safely and efficiently.

Properly recording all drills is a vital part of demonstrating compliance.

In 2022, Shorlink saw over 200% increase in our training course bookings.  We have ensured all of our training sessions meet every clients needs and budget.  Also, we believe we are only of the very few, that understand ‘onboard the actual vessel’ training is vital.

Our training courses can be Found Here!

3. Log Books

Are a vital part in the compliance chain to ensure all required information is recorded properly.

If you haven’t heard yet, (where have you been?) Shorlink provides a range of log books that our clients absolutely love in their business’.  That’s because our Log Books were designed and used by maritime members.

Combined with this, Wayne’s vast knowledge means our log books ONLY include what is needed and required.  You won’t find any useless pages in our books.

We can even customise a log book to suit your specific requirements.

To view our range of log books Click Here (with free postage)

4. Master (Skippers)

So, last year, we created a quick check list designed primarily for recreational boaters but is also a handy guide for commercial operators that we sent out to our database!

What incredible feedback we received! The checklist just ensures that all the boxes are ticked, literally, and provides peace of mind for your time on the water.

Want a free copy? Just drop us a quick email at sms@shorlink.com


At Shorlink, we wish you all the very best for the upcoming year and remember…

…we’re here for your safety so don’t hesitate to contact our office by:

p: 07 4242 1412    e: sms@shorlink.com    w: www.shorlink.com

Shorlink Recommendations

Number one recommendation for 2023 is to ensure you are compliant with all regulatory requirements and at all times stay compliant!

Note that both AMSA and WHS have become and will continue to be more active in vessel/workplace inspections and particularly incident investigations.


Top tip is if you are unsure about any of the items in this newsletter, please don’t panic – just contact our office!

While it’s not a question that most people have considered or even thought about it’s one that vessel owners and operators should. It’s not just vessel Master’s it should be considered for business managers as well.

But staying with the Master scenario what would your crew do if something happened to the Master?

Here’s a couple of examples to get you thinking…

  1. One of 2 deckhands onboard a trawler walked into the wheelhouse and found the Master lying unconscious on the wheelhouse deck.

What should he do?

What happened to the Master: Do you know?

  1. A charter vessel was on a night time delivery voyage when the Mate walked into the wheelhouse to relive the Master who was not there.

Where is the Master?

  1. Onboard a trawler that was working the Mate walked into the wheelhouse to let the Master know it was time to winch up but there was no Master.

What happened to the Master?

Do these examples sound strange, well it’s sad to say but all three are real life situations that actually occurred!

In scenario 1 the Master had suffered a heart attack (most likely due to the crew!) and while being attended to by the deckhands the vessel ran aground.

The Master in scenario 2 went into the engine room without letting anyone know (which was against the SMS procedures) and got his hand caught in machinery causing serious injuries.

Shorlink hand picture

In the last example the Master simply fell overboard from the wheelhouse deck while checking the wires. Fortunately, he was recovered a short time later.

Shorlink SOS picture

What do these 3 examples tell you?

Very simply Masters are not as bullet proof as many think they are and therefore every SMS should have a procedure for dealing with an Incapacitated Master.

Does your SMS have an Incapacitated Master procedure?

It’s a procedure we put in all the SMS manuals we develop and one that’s actually saved lives!

Shorlink’s Recommendation

We strongly recommend that you have a procedure to deal with a Master that’s become incapacitated in any way. You need to take into account potential causes and how to deal with them in the event the Master becomes incapacitated for any reason.

If you’re the Master then you want to be saved and if you’re the owner and the Master becomes incapacitated or is lost then you can become legally responsible if there is no procedure for dealing with an incapacitated or lost Master.


Our tip is to ensure you include the one thing we DO NOT seen in Incapacitated Master procedures we’ve reviewed and that is “what’s the boat doing and where is it”.

Those two things are what can save you from having a single emergency to encountering multiple emergencies situations at once.

Bunkering (refuelling) operations present a high-risk factor especially when refuelling petrol powered vessels. An explosion after refuelling an outboard powered charter vessel resulted in the Master suffering serious burns.


While petrol is highlighted diesel does not have the same flash point, but it is still a flammable liquid with the potential to cause serious injuries and damage to vessels.

Let’s look at some of the risk factors for petrol fuelled vessels.

Petrol vapours are denser than air so any vapours can accumulate in your bilge or other areas which are not properly vented. When petrol vapours mix with air the mixture becomes explosive.

Exposure of accumulated petrol vapours to an ignition source has the potential to cause an explosion and/or fire. The result is potentially catastrophic with serious injury to loss of life, damage to or loss of vessel, damage to infrastructure and environmental damage.

Potential ignition sources include:

  • Smoking, naked flames or pilot lights
  • Communication equipment, e.g., mobile phones
  • Portable electrical equipment
  • Fixed electrical systems
  • Hot work which includes welding, cutting, grinding, etc.
  • Hot surfaces, e.g., exhaust pipes, flues and ducting
  • Sparks generated by mechanical means, e.g., hammers, etc.
  • Static electricity 

To reduce the risk of explosion:

  • Ensure the fuel system complies with the applicable standards
  • Undertake regular inspections of the fuel system
  • Prevent the build-up of vapours by ventilating any area where they could occur
  • Removing or isolating all ignition sources
  • Ensure all electric equipment maintained

A guide to refuelling

In Australia all bunkering/refuelling operations must be carried out in accordance with AS1940:2017.

Below is a basic guide to preparing for refuelling your vessel.

  • Shut down the main engine/s
  • Ensure firefighting equipment is at hand
  • Ensure spill kit is available
  • Ensure adequate lighting is available
  • Block scuppers/freeing ports
  • Close hatches and doors (especially on petrol powered vessels)
  • Ensure all hot works have ceased on the vessel, adjacent vessels and within 20mtrs
  • Ensure all electric appliances are off within 20mtrs
  • Turn off mobile phones
  • Ensure no smoking withing 10mtrs 
  • Estimate the amount of fuel required
  • Ensure the fuel about to be delivered is diesel or unleaded as required
  • Check hose for leaks or damage
  • Where camlocks are not used ensure contact is maintained between the nozzle and the filler pipe; and
  • At all times the nozzle must be hand operated. 

The above is a list of precautionary steps to ensure safe refuelling practices but there are other items that must be considered including where the refuelling is being undertaken, is it at a:

  • Shore-based facility (marina, etc.)
  • Road fuel tanker
  • Fuel barge or mother ship
  • Roadside fuel service station
  • Or are you using Jerri Cans

The results of not following procedures

Shorlink’s Recommendation

Number one recommendation is to ensure you undertake safe refuelling practices at all times in accordance with AS1940:2017.

No matter where you refuel you must comply with the supplier’s procedure for dispensing fuel no matter if it’s a marina, other shore-based facility, road tanker, fuel barge or mothership!


Best tip is to recognise the refuelling procedure is a critical component of every vessels SMS so take the time to get it right. If you’re having problems with putting a refuelling procedure together don’t hesitate to contact us for advice or help to develop your procedure.

The issue and impact of plastics in our oceans, people, plants, animals and entire ecosystems was front and centre at the recent United Nations Ocean Conference in Portugal.

Plastics in our Oceans. What are the impacts on the industry?

Through the UN Environment Assembly, more than 500 organisations and 21 additional governments, including Australia, have signed up to commitments to change how plastic is produced, used and reused to keep it out of the environment.

The FRDC funded research looking into plastic issue across Australian waters.  The project found that seafood species in Australia consume microplastics at low levels in comparison to elsewhere in the world.  However, the issue remains despite being low.

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders at the University of Adelaide is now working on a related project focussed on the potential effects and implications of plastic in seafood and its impacts for fishing and aquaculture.  This research will be presented at Human Health Symposium being held in September.

From 2021, seven out of eight Australia States and territories have committed to ban single-use plastics which are being rolled out in Stages.  Australia’s National Packaging Targets set a goal to phase out problematic single-use plastics by 2025.

This will have an affect on your vessel, whether recreational or commercial – this can and should affect your time on the water.

Discarding Fishing Nets!

Approximately 46% of the 79 thousand tons of ocean plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is made up of fishing nets, some as large as football fields.

Fishing nets lost, abandoned, or discarded at sea – also known as “ghost nets” – can continue killing indiscriminately for decades and decades, entangling or suffocating countless fish, sharks, whales, dolphins, sea turtles, seals and marine birds every year. An estimated 30% percent of the decline in some fish populations is a result of discarded fishing equipment, while more than 70% of marine animal entanglements involve abandoned plastic fishing nets.

This is crazy! As the marine industry is now seeing the light at the end of the the COVID tunnel, we need to make sure that every person that is on the water is being responsible for what is ‘in’ the water.

The Ocean is your backyard, you need to keep it clean and maintained!

For our recreational clients, please take your catch home and dispose of the waste with your household rubbish.

Dispose of marine litter such as bait packaging, unwanted fishing line and plastic bags responsibly to reduce impacts on marine mammals and seabirds.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

From a business sense, if your company is producing any single use plastic onboard, now is the time you need to be looking at alternatives.

You will need to consider all options to reduce the use of single-use and non-compostable and non-biodegradable plastics as this may important to retaining and enhancing the sustainability credentials of a business.

While options to ‘green’ a business’ around single-use plastics can present a great business opportunity, eventually, as the focus on our industry is for a more sustainable future, this will also likely become essential to ensuring legal compliance and, accordingly, may become an issue of fundamental importance to business survival.


Make the most of the disposal facilities at boat ramps and marinas to reduce plastic pollution associated with marine industry.

Review your current use of single-use plastics both onboard, in warehouses, office etc and seek alternatives where required as a matter of importance.

Every crew member is aware of the legalities around ‘throwing things overboard’.  Under no circumstances should fishing lines/nets be discarded overboard.