PORT Phillip Sea Pilots will obtain an early replacement for its wrecked cutter Corsair thanks to co-operation from Flinders Ports and boat builder Hart Marine.

Corsair was lost after striking Point Lonsdale Reef at Port Phillip Heads near midnight on 5 October 2023, while returning to PPSP’s Queenscliff base after collecting a pilot from an outbound vessel. The pilot vessel was a total loss and the incident is still under investigation by Transport Safety Victoria’s chief investigator, on behalf of the ATSB.

Now, Flinders Port Holdings say they are “pleased to work with Hart Marine and Port Phillip Sea Pilots by reaching an agreement to novate the purchase and acquisition” of the second of three new pilot boats ordered by FPH, over to PPSP. Flinders Ports will still receive three boats from Hart Marine but have allowed PPSP their current allocated build slot to allow PPSP a quicker and earlier replacement of Corsair.

PPSP recently attended sea trials of Spirit, the first of the new FPH order, to learn about the new specifications of the 17.3-metre cutter, an improved, fuel-efficient and more environmentally-friendly version of the lost Pantocarene ORC-design, Hart-built Corsair.

This story has been revised to reflect updated and corrected information