EPIRBs & Incident Reporting

EPIRBs & Incident Reporting

Updates from Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

Posted on 14.08.2018


From 1 January 2021, float-free emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRBs) will be mandatory on certain types of domestic commercial vessels.

This change to safety equipment requirements comes after a number of incidents in Australia and internationally where commercial vessels have sunk quickly and the master and crew were not able to deploy their EPIRB in time, resulting in a tragic loss of life.

AMSA conducted extensive public consultation about changes to requirements for carrying float-free EPIRBs in 2018. As a result we are making changes to the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV) from 1 January 2019, with a two-year transition period.

From 1 January 2021 it will be mandatory for the following domestic commercial vessels to carry a float-free EPIRB:

  • all fishing, passenger, and non-passenger domestic commercial vessels (Class 1, 2, and 3) that are:
    • equal to or greater than 12 metres in length and operate beyond 2 nautical miles seaward from land
    • less than 12 metres in length operating in restricted offshore and offshore waters (B or C waters) and do not have level flotation, and
  • all hire and drive vessels operating in restricted offshore waters (Class 4C) equal to or greater than 12 metres in length, or less than 12 metres and do not have level flotation.

From January 2021, float-free EPIRBs will be mandatory on certain types of commercial vessel. Watch our new video to see how float-free EPIRBs work and why they can make you safer.

Posted by Australian Maritime Safety Authority – AMSA on Monday, 30 July 2018


Incident Reporting

Where a vessel is involved in a marine incident, it may need to be reported. You may also need to make a MARPOL or pollution report.

If you have an emergency dial 000 for help.

For assistance with search and rescue services, please call us:

  • Aviation 24-hour helpline: within Australia dial 1800 815 257 or outside of Australia dial +61 2 6230 6899
  • Maritime 24-hour helpline: within Australia dial 1800 641 792 or outside of Australia dial +61 2 6230 6811



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