Safe Boating in Deep Sea Shipping Navigation Areas

For the original PPA (Pacific Pilotage Authority) Document Click Here

Large ships do not have brakes and can take up to 2 nautical miles to come to a stop.  It is also difficult for a large ship to get out of the way of a small boat.

deepseaThere is a greater chance of large ships such as tankers and container vessels interacting with small boats and fishing vessels near pilot boarding stations, anchorages, deep sea traffic lanes and off berths within harbours.  Large ships do not have brakes and can take up to 2 nautical miles to come to a stop.  It is also difficult for a large ship to easily get out of the way of a small boat.

Safety Tips

  1. Maintain a proper lookout at all times.
  2. Ensure the correct navigational lights are displayed between sunset and sunrise.
  3. Avoid travelling or fishing in a shipping lane or designated traffic separation scheme (TSS) or keep as near to the outer edge as possible.
  4. Avoid crossing ahead of a large shpi.  If a small boat breaks down the large ship has very little chance of avoiding it.
  5. Keep a listening watch on the appropriate VHF channel.
  6. During a fishing opening keep the centre of the channel as open as possible to allow large ships to pass safely.
  7. Consider fitting your small craft with AIS or a radar reflector to be more visible to large vessels.

A ships blind spot can extend several hundred metres ahead of the vessel.

A small boat often does not appear on a ship’s radar and might be unseen by the bridge team.  Large ships with the bridge at the rear of the ship could have a blind spot that extends several hundred metres ahead of the vessel and when the vessel has cargo on deck such as containers this blind spot extends even further.

To stay safe pass no less than 500m ahead of the vessel and no less than 50m on either side.