Australian vessel operator the SeaLink Travel Group was looking to upgrade its existing service carrying passengers and luggage between Townsville and Magnetic Island in the state of Queensland, as well as catering for seasonal whale watching tours. The company was looking for a vessel with an upper deck boasting a 360-degree viewing capability, and selected a local catamaran design to be built by Brisbane-based Commercial Marine Australia (CMA).

SeaLink requested a vessel that was lightweight, robust, fuel-efficient, and fitted with new technology. The result is Maggie Cat, which will operate as Sealink’s flagship to Magnetic Island, with an allowance for 340 passengers and four crewmembers across three decks.

Photo: CMA

The all-aluminium vessel has an LOA of 30.8 metres, a beam of nine metres, a draught of 2.1 metres, and a displacement of 115 tonnes. It features a narrower overall beam than Coolgaree Cat, an earlier SeaLink vessel. Whilst the vessels are interchangeable, the newer Maggie Cat is configured for the shorter, more frequent Magnetic Island service while Coolgaree Cat will serve the Townsville–Palm Island route.

Boarding is via a port side midship boarding door and upper aft boarding gates. The main deck features 186 seats in a combination of booth and forward-facing types, with deep windows giving the cabin a light and airy feel with a great outside visual but the comfort of air conditioning.

Also located on the main deck is a large kiosk offering light refreshments as well as multiple storage areas on board.

Photo: CMA

The upper deck seats 64 inside an air-conditioned cabin in addition to 26 exterior seats on the aft deck. A large portion of the space is dedicated to containerised freight stowage, with space for nine items of luggage. The coamings of this deck have been reinforced to cope with the impact of trolleys whilst the loading gates are specifically located to work with existing infrastructure.

Photo: CMA

The sun deck has 48 seats and provides 360-degree visibility for tourists visiting the island. This area of the vessel also provides an ideal platform for whale watching.

All passenger seats were supplied by Beurteaux Australia.

Maggie Cat is powered by twin Caterpillar C32 main diesel engines, each delivering 895 kW at 2,000 rpm. Two VEEM interceptor fixed-pitch propellers are driven by the main engines via Twin Disc gearboxes. During recent sea trials, the vessel exceeded 31 knots, though it can achieve a fuel-efficient operational speed of 25 knots at full load and low main engine MCR. CMA said this will offer increased time between main engine overhauls.

Photo: CMA

Caterpillar also supplied the vessel’s auxiliary engine and two C4.4 generators. These supply power to an extensive navigation and communications suite that includes Icom radios, a Plastimo compass, and a radar, a sonar, a depth sounder, an autopilot, a GPS, and an AIS from Simrad. Ultimate Marine Power provided the external lights, cameras and audio systems as well as the vessel’s steering system while MET Services installed a monitoring system.

Photo: CMA

Jotun paint was used for the exterior surfaces while Flotex floors and G James windows are also fitted. Ayres Composite Panels provided work on the ceilings.

The vessel’s emergency equipment includes Survitec gear, a Systems Advantage firefighting system, an RFD liferaft, and a lifeboat from Barefoot Inflatable Boats.

Maggie Cat has already begun operational sailings with SeaLink, providing fast transport services for residents and tourists visiting North Queensland alongside Coolgaree Cat.

Photo: SeaLink



CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022


Disney Cruise Line is heading to Australia and New Zealand for the first time in fall 2023.

According to an announcement made at the D23 Expo, the company is debuting in the region with the Disney Wonder.

Starting on October 28, 2023, the 1999-built vessel is set to offer 32 two- to six-night cruises in the region, sailing from four different homeports.

With the biggest number of departures, Sydney will welcome the Wonder for 12 cruises through February 2024.

The port of Melbourne follows closely with ten scheduled departures in November, January and February.

Brisbane and Auckland will also see homeport operations, with several cruises departing from both ports in November and December.

Bookings for the Australia and New Zealand itineraries are set to open on September 26, 2022.

As part of the new deployment, the Disney Wonder is also offering positioning cruises that visit Hawaii and the South Pacific.

After completing a summer program in Alaska, the 1,750-guest vessel will sail from Vancouver on a ten-night voyage to Honolulu.

Departing in early October 2023, the itinerary features calls to Hilo, Nawiliwili and Kahului before arriving at its final destination in Hawaii.

Continuing its way to Sydney, the Wonder offers a 13-night cruise South Pacific cruise that sails to American Samoa, Fiji and New Caledonia.

Additional transpacific cruises are available in early 2024, when the ship is set to return to North America.

Previously announced plans for Disney’s fall 2023 season also include a new homeport in the United States.

Starting on November 20, the Disney Dream is debuting in Fort Lauderdale for a series of four- and five-night cruises to the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Sailing from San Diego, the Disney Magic will return to the West Coast during the period, while the Disney Fantasy and the Disney Wish continue to sail from Port Canaveral.



CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022


Australia is set to have a glimpse of what to expect under the Australia–UK–US submarine partnership (AUKUS) after the United Kingdom announced a joint training program on the newly commissioned HMS Anson. She was delivered to the Royal Navy at the end of August and promoted as the “most advanced submarine ever built.”

In one of his final acts as British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson attending the handover ceremony said that Australian submariners will join Royal Navy crews on training missions on the newly commissioned submarine. It will be the next step as the countries seek to deepen defense ties through the AUKUS pact that was announced in September last year. The UK will prepare the Australians for their planned nuclear subs to be built under the pact.

The Anson is the fifth of seven new Astute-Class submarines that the Royal Navy is building. It joins HMS Astute, Ambush, Artful and Audacious that are already in service. The remaining two, Agamemnon and Agincourt, are in various stages of construction as part of a $12.8 billion overall investment in the whole Astute-Class program.

Built at a cost of $1.5 billion, the hunter-killer Anson is being described as one of the most sophisticated underwater vessels ever built armed with up to 38 Spearfish Heavyweight Torpedoes and Block V Tomahawk land attack missiles capable of tackling targets at a range of up to 1,000 miles. At approximately 318 feet in length, and a displacement of 7,800 tons, the nuclear-powered submarine was built at BAE Systems’ yard in Barrow, Cumbria.

“From the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea, our submarine service is protecting the UK and our allies and the deployment of Australian submariners alongside our British crews epitomizes the strength of the AUKUS partnership,” said Johnson during the commissioning of the submarine last week. The event was attended by Australian Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles.

Johnson added that with naval capability at the center of the two countries’ future defense relationship, the joint training will reinforce the priorities of the Integrated Review and the significance of the AUKUS partnership that is designed to promote stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

The UK and U.S have already welcomed Royal Australian Navy personnel on their specialized nuclear training courses with more expected to follow next year before Australian submariners go to sea. The training and exchanges mark the beginning of a multigenerational naval partnership between the three AUKUS nations.

The Royal Navy has described Anson as the cutting edge in submarine design, including the incorporation of naval stealth into her form and construction that gives the UK an operational advantage in the underwater battlespace. The submarine can reach speeds of over 30 knots and is fully equipped to destroy enemy military infrastructure both on land and in the sea. The onboard Rolls Royce nuclear reactor means the vessel, which took 11 years to build, will never need to be refueled during its 25-year service period.

Anson will remain in Barrow for several more weeks undergoing final checks, tests, and tweaks to her system before she sails for her future home at HM Naval Base Clyde in Faslane, where she will prepare for sea trials.

CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has coordinated the rescue of a solo sailor approximately 60 nautical miles west of Kalbarri, Western Australia, overnight on September 2 and 3.

The solo sailor, who has been identified as an Austrian national, was intending to sail from Indonesia to Fremantle aboard his 11-metre catamaran when his vessel capsized.

AMSA said the man used multiple distress alerting methods to indicate he required assistance.

AMSA’s Response Centre tasked a Perth-based surveillance and rescue aircraft and a Pearce-based Royal Australian Air Force rescue helicopter and diverted the Marshall Islands-registered bulk carrier Seapearl to conduct a search of the sailor’s last reported position. The survivor was found and rescued by the crew of the bulk carrier in challenging weather conditions.



CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022

A consortium led by Japanese gas company Inpex has won an assessment permit for a subsea carbon capture and storage site for its Ichthys LNG plant in Australia.

Inpex, together with Woodside and TotalEnergies, has secured a permit to look for suitable CCS sites in a promising area in the Bonaparte Basin, a shallow-water region just off the coast of Darwin, Australia. The liquefaction plant is located just outside of Darwin, and it would be a “natural user” of a CCS facility in the area, Inpex said in a statement. It would help Inpex, Woodside and TotalEnergies reduce carbon emissions from production and advance a shared goal of a net-zero carbon society by 2050.

Courtesy TotalEnergies

The project could also be a step towards a much larger, global-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage project planned by the Northern Territory’s government. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is currently leading the development of a business study for a carbon capture hub in the Northern Territory, working with Inpex and other stakeholders. If built, it could be a southern-hemisphere answer to Norway’s Northern Lights CCS project, and some of the captured carbon could be combined with hydrogen to make electrofuels.

TotalEnergies is also a partner in Northern Lights, and it has broader ambitions in CCS.

“TotalEnergies aims to develop more than 10 Mt/year of carbon storage capacity by 2030, including storage for its facilities as well as storage services for its customers,” said Julien Pouget, SVP TotalEnergies Asia-Pacific E&P & Renewables. “As a partner in both the Ichthys LNG and Bonaparte CCS Assessment joint ventures, TotalEnergies is well positioned to contribute to low carbon LNG production in Australia.”


CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is set to consolidate its three cloud and enterprise platforms into one single system, moving away from its separate Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure backbones.

According to a request for expressions of interest (REOI), the marine regulatory body is seeking partner input on the services available in the market for a technology refresh.

As part of the refresh, AMSA is considering a move from three integration platforms – utilising Azure, AWS and a custom-made platform – down to one enterprise system, according to the REOI documents.

Additionally, AMSA is also looking at optional services, including migration, managed and partner services, as well as finding efficiencies through automation and community interaction and improving navigation services and search and rescue, incident management and pollution responses and compliance activities.

Currently, AMSA has a digital strategy focused on the core areas of “user centred, highly connected, data informed and agile and adaptable”, with various activities initiated to achieve its objectives, but its integration capability needs to be improved “to a higher level of maturity”.

The goal of the ROEI is to find a shortlist of partners, who may be invited to respond to a separate request for tender (RFT), which will be shaped by the responses from the REOI, AMSA said.

There is no guarantee however that the RFT will be released, the REOI document adds.

Partners are able to submit their responses to the REOI until 23 September, with a report to be drawn up in December.

In 2019, AMSA handed Canberra-based Digital61 a $14.8-million contract to supply infrastructure services, taking over a contract previously held by ASG, which at the time was set to run until 2022.



CREWEXPRESS STCW REST HOURS SOFTWARE - Paris and Tokyo MoU have announced that they will jointly launch a new Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) from 1st September 2022 to 30th November 2022

Bourbon Marine Services Greenmar, the manning affiliate of the Bourbon Group, has agreed a deal to implement MarTrust’s E-Wallet system to digitally manage its crew payments.

Bourbon Marine Services Greenmar is responsible for managing over 1,000 seafarers on more than 100 vessels. The E-Wallet and pre-paid cards provided by Marcura subsidiary MarTrust will be used to optimise payment processes, enabling crews to receive and manage their funds using a mobile app or any web browser.

Cash can be accessed at any Mastercard-supported ATM around the world, and the card can be topped up in different currencies. Users also have the ability to transfer money to family and friends as they wish using the system.

“Our key goal is to attract and retain the very best seafarers and to actively contribute to their personal growth within our organisation. This means ensuring that all areas that impact their lives while at sea are at the highest level, from communication and sourcing of stores, health and safety, as well as how they are remunerated and receive their hard-earned salaries,” said Suraj Maharaj, Managing Director, Bourbon Marine Services Greenmar.

“We recently introduced an attractive pension scheme for our seafarers, as well as a digital signature platform for employment agreements, and now the E-Wallet is the latest digital development to ensure that they receive their wages safely and securely, and with the freedom and ability to do with it what they choose.”


THE AUSTRALIAN Maritime Safety Authority detained 159 ships entering Australian waters last year, according to the latest annual data in AMSA’s Port State Control Australia 2021 Report.

Last years’ detention figures were an improvement on those of 2020, having decreased from 179 detentions that year.

Detention and deficiency rates per inspection reportedly remained low in 2021, at 5.6% and 2.2% respectively compared to 2020 rates of 5.9% and 2.1% respectively.

AMSA said the most frequent cause of detention since 2010 relates to relates to ineffective implementation of the safety management system as required by the International Safety Management (ISM) Code.

Trends reported in 2021 suggest maintenance issues are not being addressed by the ship’s safety management system as implemented onboard.

In 2021 the number of ISM detainable deficiencies decreased to 53 (occurring in 1.9% of port state control inspections) compared to 76 in 2020 (occurring in 2.5% of inspections).

According to AMSA, deficiencies were in part influenced by difficulties operators have experienced with conducting shore-based maintenance with pandemic-related restrictions in place.

Operators also reported difficulty in superintendents not being able to visit their ships due to COVID-19 restrictions, which affected their ability to conduct on-board SMS audits.


AMSA said the annual report highlighted the positive effect a consistent, zero-tolerance approach can have on the quality of foreign ships entering Australian waters.

The regulator said it is widely reputed for having one of the most stringent inspection regimes in the world.

AMSA executive director of operations Michael Drake said ships that fail to meet international standards represent an unacceptable risk to the safety of seafarers, marine environments and coastal communities.

“Our mission is to ensure safe ship operations and combat marine pollution from shipping,” Mr Drake said.

“We achieve that by taking a zero-tolerance approach during our inspections and by working collaboratively with our regional partners through intelligence sharing, concentrated inspection campaigns and awareness raising with industry.

“These combined efforts have a positive influence on the quality of ships that enter our waters – it is a deterrent to the owners and operators of sub-standard ships which is why we continue to see low detention and deficiency rates.”

Mr Drake said the 2021 inspection regime findings also helped refine AMSA’s compliance focus areas for the year ahead, outlined in its National Compliance Plan for 2022-23.

“We’ve identified trends in recent years relating to detainable deficiencies for ineffective implementation of safety management systems, fire safety and water/weather tight integrity, and we will be sharpening our compliance focus on these areas for the coming year,” he said.


Austal Australia delivered the second of eight Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats (ECCPB’s) to the Royal Australian Navy August 5th.

The vessel, ADV Cape Peron, was officially accepted by the Commonwealth of Australia.

Austal Limited Chief Executive Officer, Paddy Gregg said the delivery of the second Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat highlights the critical importance of the vessel as a capability to the Royal Australian Navy, and Australia’s national naval shipbuilding enterprise.

“The Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats are not only enhancing the Royal Australian Navy’s capability, but further strengthening Australia’s sovereign shipbuilding capability, which is more important than ever before,” Mr Gregg said.

“Austal continues to engage over 300 defence industry partners across Australia to construct the Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boats. We’re part of the national naval shipbuilding enterprise that is delivering enhanced capability for the Navy, protecting Australia’s borders, and maintaining security in our region.

“It’s a great source of pride for the entire Austal team knowing that we’re equipping our Navy, and our nation with the best possible patrol boat capability. Our congratulations and thanks go to the Navy, the Commonwealth, and our industry partners on this latest delivery.”

The 58-metre aluminium monohull patrol boat is the second of eight to be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy. The first Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat, ADV Cape Otway, was delivered in March 2022, following approximately 18 months construction. The six remaining vessels are in various stages of production at Austal’s Henderson, Western Australia shipyard and deliveries are scheduled progressively through to 2024.

With greater capability than the benchmark Cape-class Patrol Boats, the Evolved Capes feature new, larger amenities to accommodate up to 32 people, improved quality of life systems and advanced sustainment intelligence systems that further enhance the Royal Australian Navy’s ability to fight and win at sea.

The Evolved Cape-class Patrol Boat Project (SEA1445-1) is employing approximately 400 people directly in Western Australia and engaging more than 300 supply chain partners across Australia.

Austal Australia is also contracted to deliver 21 Guardian-class Patrol Boats to the Commonwealth of Australia under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement Project (SEA3036-1) and has delivered 15 vessels to date.


Three of Australia’s maritime unions are threatening to disrupt operations at ten of Australia’s seaports on Friday, August 5, in their long-running dispute with Svitzer Towage, one of the country’s leading operators of tugs. Svitzer, a part of the Maersk Group, and the unions have been without a collective bargaining agreement (known as an enterprise agreement in Australia) since their 2016 contract expired in 2019.

Media reports indicate that the company and the unions, the Maritime Union of Australia, the Australian Institute of Marine & Power Engineers, and the Australian Maritime Officers Union, had met more than 50 times over the more than three years attempting to come to terms for the new contract. At one point, they reportedly had an agreement in principle that later collapsed. The long-running dispute has resulted in labor actions, but on August 5 the unions hope to broadly disrupt port activity across Australia.

Union officials are reporting that the duration and scope of the strikes will be determined at the local level. Workers in Melbourne and Brisbane reportedly will walk off the job for 24 hours, which is expected to create widespread disruptions in those ports. However, workers in the other eight ports involved in Friday strikes, at Cairns, Newcastle, Sydney, Port Kembla, Adelaide, Fremantle, Geraldton, and Albany, were expected to stop work for only four hours beginning at 9 a.m. local time. They have promised that tugboat services for naval vessels and cruise ships however would continue during the work stoppage.

In a statement released by the MUA, they accuse Svitzer of not negotiating in good faith while “lodging a laundry list of unreasonable demands, and threatening to slash the pay of its seagoing workforce by almost 50 percent.”

A spokesperson for Svitzer responded to the union allegations saying that the company had offered to “maintain crew salaries and core conditions” as part of a new contract. They contend the stalemate is over “reasonable productivity improvements” which the unions refuse to consider.

The new job action is timed to call attention to Svitzer’s attempt to abandon the collective bargaining process. Following the example set by other Australian companies, including Patrick Terminals in 2021, Svitzer threatened to seek government approval to end the bargaining process. Unlike other companies in Australia, Svitzer however is following through on its threat and is set to go before Australia’s Fair Works Commission starting on August 8 to make the case to end the enterprise agreement. The company said it needs certainty for itself and its customers, and that the unions have left it no option.

“Svitzer’s militant brinksmanship threatens to throw the smooth and efficient operation of almost every Australian seaport into complete chaos,” said the MUA’s National Secretary, Paddy Crumlin. “We are confident that the Fair Work Commission will look at the reckless and belligerent behavior of Svitzer throughout this process and respond to the company’s court action appropriately.”

The union says Svitzer’s desired course of action would devastate workers by slashing their pay, cause massive fatigue risks, and undermine the capacity to provide reliable and efficient towage services to international shipping companies and various port authorities.


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