Tag Archive for: Shorlink

Did you know that AMSA made an amendment to Marine Order 504 in relation to vessels carrying passengers that commenced on the 31 May 2020.

For Class 1 and Class 2 vessels that are permitted to carry passengers you will be required to have an effective and verifiable means of passenger monitoring to ensure the master is able to find out the number of passengers onboard at any time.


Operators will be required to undertake a passenger count at the time of embarkation and disembarking for vessels that are:

  • a Class 2 vessel permitted to carry passengers or a Class 1 vessel that is permitted to carry no more than 75 passengers; and
  • is on a voyage of at least 30 minutes and no more than 12 hours scheduled duration and the vessel is not scheduled to stop for embarkation or disembarkation in the first 30 minutes; and
  • is operating in B, C or D waters at any time of E waters outside of daylight hours.

For operators who transport passengers to a water-based activity the passenger count:

  • must include an additional count before the vessel departs from the site; and
  • is not required to be conducted when a vessel is stopped for a water-based activity and a passenger enters or leaves:
  1. the water; or
  2. another vessel used in conjunction with the activity

This means if you’re operating a ferry service or water taxi which has voyages of less than 30 minutes this amendment does not apply.

For most operators who carry passengers on voyages of 30 minutes or more and less than 12 hours you will need to update your Safety Management System (SMS) to incorporate the changes.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

We strongly recommend you review your SMS now and work out what changes are going to be required to ensure you meet the new requirements.  Feel free to utilise our free SMS Assessment Service – just email us a copy of your SMS, and our Principal Consultant will review and let you know of any changes may be required.


If you’re having trouble working out what’s required or how to incorporate the changes into your SMS then give us a call and we’ll help get you compliant with the changes.

While your SMS may meet AMSA requirements under MO504 will it stand up if challenged in court?

In many cases…NO!

We all know AMSA assesses SMS’s to ensure they have all the components required under MO504 and we’re all in favour of that because it helps you in getting your SMS up to speed.

But…did you know that while your SMS may meet AMSA’s requirements does it meet Work Health & Safety requirements?

Unfortunately, in many cases it does not which leaves you exposed in the event of an incident.

The bottom line is AMSA undertake an “assessment” of your SMS which does not, in most cases take in the content of your operational and emergency procedures to any extent.

Along with the risk assessments the procedures are the backbone of your SMS and if they are missing or don’t reflect how you do things you’re in trouble.

We’ve been involved in developing, auditing and assessing safety management systems, including risk assessments and procedures for over 30 years and we’re available to help you with your SMS compliance.

Shorlink now has available a number of services to help you in getting your SMS to a level where it offers the best legal protection. Listed below are our 3 key services to ensure your compliance.

  1. Basic Assessment – FOR FREE!
    We take marine safety so seriously, that we offer a free assessment of your current SMS.
    Our Principal Consult will review your current SMS and provide you with a report of areas which should be revised and procedures that should be included if required to meet AMSA requirements.
  2. Gap Analysis.
    Our Lead Auditor will conduct a gap analysis to determine the strength of your SMS including an initial review of your operational and emergency procedures. A written report will be provided upon completion. Prices start at a low $120.00
  3. Full System Audit.
    A full system audit entails a detailed review of your entire SMS including all operational and emergency procedures. This is undertaken by our Lead Auditor. An external full system audit provides the best possible protection in the event of an incident and…gives you peace of mind. For your best price to get peace of mind contact our office by…

Shorlink’s Recommendation

We highly recommend having your SMS reviewed by a competent person who has considerable industry experience.

If you don’t use Shorlink that’s fine but please be aware of people out there saying they have experience when, in fact have little or no relevant experience in the area you operate.

Of course we recommend Shorlink, that’s only natural but if not please be careful of who you engage to assess or audit your SMS!


When looking for an external party to assess or audit your SMS and in particular your procedures ask them about their experience in the operations you undertake.

If they don’t have hands on experience in your field, then think very carefully abut engaging them.

Our Principal Consultant and Lead Auditor, Wayne Linklater has been in the maritime industry for 50 years and has extensive hands on experience in boatbuilding, commercial vessel operations, safety management and auditing.

While most of you out there are aware that Shorlink develops safety management systems and…one of the best in the business there’s another side to our business that many people are not aware of.

A major part of our business involves the delivery of vessel specific onboard crew training in emergency preparedness.

While there are a number of classroom courses available Shorlink is the only company that specialises in “onboard” delivery to your crew members.

We develop training based on your vessel and it’s operations to ensure your crew can deal with onboard emergencies in the event they are faced with one!

Our focus is to ensure your crew go home safe by developing both individual capabilities and operating as part of a team.

We provide a mix of theory combined with hands on practical training (drills) to ensure all crew members can operate individually and as part of a team.

Fires onboard are a major concern for all those at sea and that’s where our hands-on training actually using fire extinguishers proven beneficial on many occasions.

While most crew members know what flares are and what they are used for most don’t know how to use them or have even let one off. We make sure all crew members do hands on flare training including letting one off.

Simply knowing how to deal with a person overboard as a team provides the best possible chance of recovering the victim and saving a life. Our training involves actually undertaking drills to ensure all crew work as a team.

Shorlink’s Recommendation

While having your crew undertaking drills onboard themselves does not always mean they are getting the best training or even doing it right and…that’s where we come in!

We recommend getting us in to do training either monthly, quarterly or at the start of the season to ensure your crew can handle onboard emergencies safely and efficiently.


Feel your crew are doing thinks OK then we recommend getting us in to do an audit on the training being provided as this can greatly increase your crew’s safety level and demonstrates your focus on safety and compliance!