AMSA seeks views on EPIRBS
Call for feedback on alternatives to float-free EPIRBS on small boats.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) wants to hear from owners and operators of vessels less than 7.5 metres in length regarding its recent requirement for commercial vessels to carry a float-free EPIRB.
In July this year AMSA announced that carrying a float-free EPIRB would become mandatory for certain types of vessels from January 2021. However, the authority is also considering alternative safety options for smaller vessels, in consultation with industry, given that it may not be practical for such vessels to carry float-free EPIRBS.
“We understand that for some vessels less than 7.5 metres in length it may not be feasible to carry a float-free EPIRB,” said Brad Groves, AMSA general manager of standards.
“The requirements for float-free EPIRBs to be mounted in a particular way to maximise the chance of deployment means that they may not be suitable for some smaller vessels.”
In response, AMSA is proposing several options for smaller vessels including:
- carry a float-free EPIRB (no alternative)
- wear a personal locator beacon (PLB), in addition to a manually activated EPIRB
- carry a manually activated EPIRB and wear a lifejacket
- carry a manually activated EPIRB in a buoyant storage device
“This is a complex and diverse industry and it is clear that a one-size-fits-all approach does not work,” said Groves.
“We want to hear what people out on the water think about these options or if they have a better idea that might achieve a comparable level of safety as carrying a float-free EPIRB.”
The consultation process applies only to domestic commercial vessels less than 7.5 metres in length, without level flotation, operating in offshore waters. It is open to the public until Friday, 28 February 2019.
For more information on the consultation and how to submit feedback, visit AMSA’s website.