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Port of Yamba

Domestic commercial vessels are now regulated by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) under a National System that commenced on 1 July 2013.

Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) acts as a National System delegate and continues to deliver vessel survey, certification and safety management services on behalf of AMSA. Large vessels are restricted to particular channels and cannot deviate from their set course.

These vessels are restricted in their ability to alter their course due to their size and need a large area to turn and stop. Their stern swings out wide when negotiating a turn and they lose steerage if they travel too slowly.

The main safety tips for small boats around shipping channels are:

  • Recreational boats, both power and sail, should keep well clear of large vessels and ferries
  • Do not cross ahead of large vessels or ferries unless well clear (1,000m). Even when hundreds of metres away, your boat may disappear from the ship master’s view from the bridge
  • Remember, large vessels tend to travel much faster than they appear to be. Give yourself plenty of room
  • Do not cross close astern of a large vessel or ferry
  • Always keep to the starboard side of a channel
  • Do not cross a channel if you are going to impede a vessel which has to use the channel
  • Roads and Maritime provides more information regarding big ships and small boats on its website, including map sections within the local boating map showing the shipping channels. For more information visit RMS - Big Ships - Small Boats

Recreational users of the harbour area need to be particularly aware of the water-side restricted zones in place near the port facilities and around trading ship movements. These zones are in place to ensure that a safe distance is maintained from shipping operations.

RMS administers all Aquatic Licenses and applications. RMS will consult closely with Port Authority regarding any application that is for use in or near to the harbour area. Consultation considers the impact of the licence on shipping and vice versa, the requirements of the Port of Newcastle Shiphandling Safety Guidelines, navigation safety and include, as required, relevant port users, the community and business groups. The Harbour Master will make submission to RMS on Port Authority's requirements regarding the licence.