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Master Claims Recreational Voyage While Towing a Barge

Mike Schuler
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March 31, 2023

Australia has convicted the master of a Sydney-based commercial vessel for breaching a condition on his vessel’s certificate of operation.

The March 20 conviction comes after a successful prosecution by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, on behalf of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

A Transport for New South Wales Maritime Marine Safety Inspector, acting on behalf of AMSA, intercepted the vessel near North Bondi in November 2020. During the inspection, the captain claimed the trip was a recreational, not commercial trip, despite towing a barge with commercial construction equipment at the time. 

AMSA Manager of Enforcement and Inspector Support David Marsh highlighted the seriousness of the matter, saying “This breach of a certificate of operation demonstrates exactly the kind of recklessness that commercial vessel operators can’t afford to have – not only does it risk the safety of people, property, and the marine environment, it also tarnishes the reputation of the industry.”

The master in this case has been fined AUD 5,000.

The conviction and fine serve as a reminder to all commercial vessel operators to adhere to the regulations and requirements set forth by AMSA to ensure the safety of all individuals and the environment.


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