PILOT vessel Corsair grounded last night at about 23.19 on Point Lonsdale Reef at the entrance to Port Phillip heads in Victoria.
All three onboard were rescued and the vessel subsequently broke up.
A spokesperson for Ports Victoria told DCN commercial shipping movements in the area were suspended from 00.01 on Friday morning through 02.05, when movements were allowed to recommence.
“However, at approximately 05.20 the Corsair broke up and the risk from floating debris in the shipping lanes caused Ports Victoria to suspend commercial shipping movements again,” the spokesperson said.
“After collection of the major pieces of vessel debris and a visual inspection of the area showed the shipping lanes were clear, Ports Victoria resumed commercial shipping movements at 10.15 on Friday 6 October.”
The Ports Victoria spokesperson said the agency continues to liaise with Safe Transport Victoria, Parks Victoria and the Department of Transport and Planning for the continuing response and clean up.
Port Phillip Sea Pilots said it was working with and supporting all authorities.
Victoria Police was the lead agency on the rescue. A spokesperson said Water Police officers, along with the Coast Guard and HEMS assisted in the rescue of three men off Point Lonsdale overnight.
“Police have been told a captain and two crew members from a Port Phillip Sea Pilots launch were on their boat approximately 400 metres offshore when it ran aground on 5 October,” the Vic Police spokesperson said.
“Emergency services were alerted and searched the area before the trio were located standing on rocks next to the boat. The crew evacuated the boat into a life raft and were rescued uninjured about 1.30 am.”
The Vic Police spokesperson said on Friday Police, Ports Victoria, AMSA and Parks Victoria are on scene and “will try to get the 17-metre boat off the reef today”.
An AMSA spokesperson confirmed that about 23.45 on 5 October Victoria Police made contact about a pilot vessel with three onboard that ran aground at Point Lonsdale.
“Police tasked two rescue vessels to assist, a volunteer marine rescue (VMR) unit from Queenscliff and Victoria Police launch VP-21. Two other pilot vessels were also in the vicinity assisting,” the AMSA spokesperson said.
“AMSA tasked a night-operation-capable ADF rescue helicopter from East Sale to assist, which was ultimately not required.
“The Police vessel safely retrieved the three people from the pilot vessel via a life raft. All are believed to be safe and well.”
According to publicly available AIS data, PV Corsair was on its way back to its Queenscliff base when it suddenly stopped off Point Lonsdale.
A spokesperson for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau told DCN it is currently “gathering further information” on the incident.