PV Alert a new addition to pilotage services

TasPorts’ North West marine team has welcomed its newest fleet member with the arrival of Pilot Vessel Alert in the Port of Devonport.


21 July 2023

Pilot Vessel Alert is named after HMS Alert, the first vessel that legendary navigator Matthew Flinders served on.

Built by Hart Marine, the Alert has been constructed to NSCV criteria, with a 2C classification and measuring 16-metres long, with and overall beam of 5.43 metres.

The vessel has a top speed of 27 knots and maximum draft of 1.5 metres and will bring enhanced manoeuvrability and responsiveness to the Port of Devonport's pilotage services.

She’s classed as a ‘High Speed Craft’

You'll notice there's something a little different about our new addition compared to our other pilot vessels, she’s tropical yellow!

Most ports in the world require pilotage, the practice where a pilot comes on board near the entrance of the port and then assists the ship's captain with bringing the ship into port, and docking or anchoring in the designated anchorage.

The pilot also helps provide safe passage when the ship departs.

A day in the Life of a Marine Operative

Marine Operatives are Masters and Deckhands on TasPorts’ pilot vessels around the State. Marine Operatives in the Northwest require a minimum of a Master <24 metres and a Marine Engine Driver Grade III ticket, they must successfully complete a competency-based training package.

Being a Marine Operative is a critical role in the safe transfer of Marine Pilots on and off ships in our ports. The Master of the pilot vessel relies on extensive training, experience and skill to operate the vessel safely alongside a ship at speeds around 8 knots. They are faced with constant environmental challenges: wind, swell, rain and sea spray.

Once safely positioned alongside the ship, the Deckhand steps out on deck (while secured to a lanyard) and verifies the safety of the pilot ladder, before the pilot is given the ‘all clear’ to ascend or descend the ladder. Maintaining communication with the Master and the Pilot, they are ready to assist the Pilot at the critical moment of pilot vessel transfer.