AMSA has announced an amendment to Marine Order 504 in relation to vessels carrying passengers that will commence on May 31, 2020.
For Class 1 and Class 2 vessels that are permitted to carry passengers, operators will be required to have an effective and verifiable means of passenger monitoring to ensure the master is able to find out the number of passengers onboard at any time.
Operators will be required to undertake a passenger count at the time of embarkation and disembarking for vessels that are a Class 2 vessel permitted to carry passengers or a Class 1 vessel that is permitted to carry no more than 75 passengers; and is on a voyage of at least 30 minutes and no more than 12 hours scheduled duration and the vessel is not scheduled to stop for embarkation or disembarkation in the first 30 minutes; and
is operating in B, C or D waters at any time of E waters outside of daylight hours.
For operators who transport passengers to a water-based activity, the passenger count must include an additional count before the vessel departs from the site, and is not required to be conducted when a vessel is stopped for a water-based activity and a passenger enters or leaves either the water or another vessel used in conjunction with the activity.
This means that for ferry services or water taxis with voyages of less than 30 minutes, this amendment does not apply.
Most operators who carry passengers on voyages of 30 minutes or more and less than 12 hours will need to update the Safety Management System (SMS) to incorporate the changes.
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