Back in 2020, Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) legislated changes that will require certain types of commercial vessels, including trawlers, to carry float-free Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons (EPIRBs) from 1 January 2021.

To remind, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) is a device which alerts search and rescue services (SAR) in case of an emergency at sea.

In light of the above, throught the campaign AMSA goals to check and help operators meet their obligations.

What is more, marine inspectors will be conducting this inspection campaign over the period of 1 February to 30 April 2021. This will happen in conjunction with their regular inspections on domestic commercial vessels.

"We will undertake a focused inspection campaign (FIC) on float-free EPIRB requirements on domestic commercial vessels over the period 1 February to 30 April 2021"

According to AMSA, the FIC focusses on float-free EPIRB carriage requirements implemented through recent changes to the National Standard for Commercial Vessels (NSCV).

Concluding, these new requirements result from a number of fatal incidents in Australia where lives may have been saved if a float-free EPIRB was fitted to the vessel.