Home' Ausmarine : October 2014 Contents Banned container ship cleared to sail from NZ
12 October 2014 AUSMARINE
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) has
cleared the Australian Maritime Safety
Authority (AMSA)-banned container
ship, the 'Vega Auriga', to depart New
Zealand's Port of Tauranga after
addressing various "deficiencies".
The Vega Reederei-owned vessel had
been plying the New Zealand-Australia-
Noumea service of Mediterranean Shipping
Company (MSC) when AMSA banned it
from entering the country due to crew
Having undertaken a thorough Port
State Control inspection upon the vessel's
subsequent arrival at Tauranga, MNZ senior
media advisor Sophie Hazelhurst said a
total of 14 deficiencies were identified, of
which 11 had to be rectified prior to the
ship leaving port.
"The deficiencies included items related
to maintenance, se aworthiness and crew
rest periods," said Ms Hazelhurst.
"Some of the deficiencies contravened
Standards of Training, Certification and
Watchkeeping for Seafarers requirements
relating to rest periods and watchkeeping.
"MNZ did a follow up inspection of
the ship... and confirmed that the
11 deficiencies requiring action prior
to departure had been dealt
Concerns have been raised in some
quarters that such safety and seafarer
welfare is sue-plagued v essels -- the 'Vega
Auriga' having been detained three times at
Australian ports since July 2013 -- are still
being seen in New Zealand waters.
MSC, which was also the charterer of the
'Rena' , has subsequently off-hired the
11,809DWT and 2006-built vessel.
Fatigue likely factor in 'Rena' grounding
Both the master and second mate of the
'Rena' were at risk of mild fatigue
impairment at the very least during the
period immediately preceding the
grounding of the container ship on the
Astrolabe Reef on October 5, 2011.
Such is the reported determination of
the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
(ATSB) after analysis of sleep and work data
supplied by New Zealand's Transport
Accident Commission (TAIC).
The ATSB found that the master's sleep
and work schedule placed him at
significant risk of fatigue impairment
during the days preceding the accident.
This was due to the time of day for both
work and sleep, sleep duration and sleep
It also found that although the second
mate had adapted to the night watch
schedule, the extent of adaptation was not
sufficient to overcome the time-of-day
effects on performance during the
midnight-to-6am work periods.
The TAIC is also undertaking a formal
investigation into the grounding.
Meanwhile, Bay of Plenty Regional
Council chief executive Mary-Anne
Macleod has reportedly announced that her
organisation has decided to refer the
application for resource consent to
abandon the stern section of the 'Rena' on
the reef to the Environment Court.
Given it appeared likely that any
decision made by the regional council
would be appealed by at least some of the
152 submitters, Ms Macleod said it made
no sense to impose duplicate costs on those
who wish to appear in person. The decision
also saves the regio nal coun cil from the
cost of holding its own hearings.
Manly ferry operators hold their breaths over Sydney ferry overhaul
The overhaul of Australia's ferry industry
in Sydney harbour continues, with
competing operators waiting with baited
breath over a key contract.
Tenders to operate the very busy fast
ferry service from Manly to Sydney (and
other destinations) closed on September 15.
The successful tenderer is likely to be
announced in mid-November.
Manly Fast Ferries began operating the
fast ferry service to the city in February
2009, after winning the contract to operate
it for 14 months following the withdrawal
from the run of the government-owned
"jetcats" in December 2008.
When the New South Wales State
Government sought tenderers to operate
the fast ferry service for five years from
April 2010, the contract was then won by
Sydney Fast Ferries. Rather than
withdrawing from the route, Manly Fast
Ferries then obtained permission to operate
an alternative fast ferry service.
Both companies, operating ferries built
by Queensland's Aluminium Boats
Australia, are now bidding for the contract.
Manly Fast Ferry co-director Richard
Ford said he was confident about his
company's chances. "We've done a good
job for the past five years and our
customers have been happy with the
service," he said.
Sydney Fast Ferries co-owner John
McPherson, meanwhile, was equally upbeat
about his company's prospects. "We're
certainly up to it," he said.
Harbour City Ferries, the current operator
of Sydney's iconic tan-and-green ferry fleet,
may also be a contender for the deal.
The Port of Tauranga
'Rena' grounded on the Astrolabe reef
Photo: New Zealand Defence Force
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