Tuesday 13th Nov, 2018

Investigation into possible “close quarters” case

CPO Jacksonville. Dale Crisp
CPO Jacksonville. Dale Crisp

MARITIME Safety Victoria has confirmed an investigation into an apparent incident in the waters of southern Port Phillip Bay involving a container ship and a ro-ro vessel.

The incident occurred in South Channel (near Rosebud) on 12 August  as the ro-ro Tomar (IMO 9375264) was sailing towards Port Phillip Heads and CPO Jacksonville (IMO 9445576) was sailing towards Melbourne.


Jacksonville is flagged in Liberia while Tomar is flagged in Malta. Both ships had pilots on board at the time, the Tomar from Australian Pilotage Group and the Jacksonville from Port Phillip Sea Pilots.

It is understood neither of the pilots registered complaints.

MSV director maritime safety Rachel Gualano said they were “conducting an investigation into a reported close quarters incident between two commercial vessels which occurred on the 12 August 2018, offshore from Rosebud, on the Mornington Peninsula”.

“Maritime Safety Victoria is investigating this incident and a range of parties involved with safety in the Port of Melbourne,” she said. “These types of incidents which Maritime Safety Victoria investigates are invariably complex, and involve a number of parties and contributing factors, so we are devoting the effort and time required to come to a considered solution as soon as possible.”

Ms Gualano said it was important lessons were learned.

“Regulatory action might be required however a key aim is for all parties to learn from these incidents and make necessary changes to enhance safety in the port,” she said.

“A summation of the recommendations for preventative action arising from the investigation will be released once finalised to duty holders first.  The findings will be made public at an appropriate time and will include what occurred, lessons learnt and any disciplinary and/regulatory action imposed by the regulator.”

At the time of publication, neither Australian Pilotage Group nor Port Phillip Sea Pilots have offered comment.

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