RSV Nuyina approved to transit the Tasman Bridge

TasPorts announced today that it has granted the RSV Nuyina approval to transit the Tasman Bridge, following the completion of extensive and diligent risk assessments.


28 February 2022

TasPorts announced today that it has granted the RSV Nuyina approval to transit the Tasman Bridge, following the completion of extensive and diligent risk assessments, including complex simulation exercises and a peer review by a leading international maritime consultant.

The approval allows the Australian Antarctic Division’s new ice breaker to transit the Tasman Bridge subject to the satisfactory completion of a comprehensive Marine Pilot Familiarisation Program involving harbour trials at the Port of Hobart, followed by further simulation exercises at the Australian Maritime College’s state-of-the-art simulator.

The decision was made following complex and robust technical evaluation, including two phases of extensive and diligent risk assessments and simulations, and clears the way for the new $529 million icebreaker to refuel at Selfs Point following the successful completion of the Marine Pilot Familiarisation Program.

Chief Executive Officer Anthony Donald said the decision reflected TasPorts’ obligation and responsibility to serve the best interests of the Tasmanian community in relation to maritime safety and environmental protection.

“Maritime safety is TasPorts’ number one priority,” Mr Donald said.

“Whenever a new vessel which is outside established port parameters enters a Tasmanian port, TasPorts is committed to undertaking appropriate risk assessment. Where a vessel is bespoke, such as the RSV Nuyina, further rigour is required including industry leading assessments and simulations. This is critical when a vessel has a requirement to transit the Tasman Bridge.

“Under the direction of the Tasmanian Harbour Master we have conducted rigorous and robust assessment and simulation, which has been peer-reviewed by industry leading maritime consultant OMC International, as well as by marine pilots with local experience operating within the Port of Hobart.

Mr Donald said once all conditions of the approval were successfully met, the RSV Nuyina would be able to make its first transit.

“Our approach is aligned with industry best practice within the port sector, both nationally and internationally.

“This extends to include the requirement to undertake a comprehensive Marine Pilot Familiarisation program over the coming months involving activities on the vessel in the Port of Hobart and simulation exercises at the AMC utilising the RSV Nuyina ship model.

“Ensuring our team of highly qualified and experienced Marine Pilots are familiar with this bespoke vessel and the way she manoeuvres is pivotal to providing final clearance for the RSV Nuyina to undertake the transit,” Mr Donald said.

Mr Donald said the parameters that exist surrounding the Tasman Bridge transit are well established. Vessel transits under the Tasman Bridge must comply with the prescribed port parameters as stipulated in the Marine and Safety Regulation (2017) and documented in the TasPorts Ports Procedure Manual. As a result, transiting guidance and restrictions apply to all vessels.

“This is a highly complex maritime transit that requires precision planning and execution across three distinct areas – the environmental conditions, a vessel’s configuration and performance and a team of highly skilled mariners all working together to ensure a successful transit,” Mr Donald said.

“Whilst the river may look calm and peaceful, there are a range of environmental conditions which need to be considered for each transit. For example, the wind speed and direction, tidal movements and freshwater flow down the river can all impact a vessel’s manoeuvrability. Alongside this, we also consider the configuration and performance of the vessel, including its propulsion type and draught.

“Finally, each transit requires precision planning and teamwork between the vessel’s bridge crew, our marine pilots, towage and marine operatives, right through to our Vessel Traffic Services Centre operatives who oversee all shipping movements,” Mr Donald said.

“Maritime safety is TasPorts’ number one priority and our extensive and diligent approach to granting the RSV Nuyina approval to transit the Tasman Bridge reflects our unwavering commitment to this,” Mr Donald said.