Responsibilities and communications
Owners and masters of vessels working in Darwin Port between 1 November to the 30 April (cyclone season) are responsible for:
- the safety of their vessels and crew
- ensuring that they have a cyclone contingency plan in place and all crew members are familiar with the plan
- ensuring the vessels’ engines and other essential machinery is fully operational
- following all directions issued to them by the GMO
- awareness of the advice in the Mariners Handbook NP100 regarding navigable and dangerous semicircles of tropical revolving storms
- bearing the cost of any damages caused by their vessel to the facilities or other vessels.
Vessel owners should nominate a contact person to liaise with the HCO during the event of a cyclone. The contact person details need to be provided to the Small Ships Scheduler and included in the Cyclone Procedure Plan.
At all times, the vessel is not to be left unattended and the Master has to ensure that there is adequate crew on board to enable the vessel to safely depart the facilities if required, at short notice. Any vessel found to be inadequately attended may be ordered off the berth by the GMO or the HCO.
Vessel owners should include in their cyclone contingency plan, a copy of the map outlining cyclone mooring locations in and around Darwin Harbour as shown in Appendix 1 Darwin Harbour Cyclone Refuges or up to date editions of nautical charts AUS24, 26 and 28.
The following communication methods will be used during the response to a tropical cyclone event.
Mobile phones will be a medium for all communications. Important messages and changes in the tropical cyclone pattern and the port status will be communicated to all port users via mobile phones.
Marine VHF radio will be used to broadcast information of interest to port users and stakeholders. Harbour Control Centre will be the radio communications hub and will be responsible for broadcasting updates regarding the tropical cyclone status, the current level of watch/warning and information regarding vessel movements and the current status of the port.
Various VHF channels are allocated for port and harbour operations as detailed below. VHF Channel 10 is the main port working channel for coordination and response.
Type of use
Frances Bay Mooring Basin Lockmaster
Communications with vessels entering or leaving Frances Bay Mooring Basin
Tipperary Waters Lockmaster
Communications with vessels entering or leaving Tipperary Waters marina
Wickham Point operations
Darwin Harbour Control working channel and primary port operations
Cullen Bay Lockmaster
Communication with vessels entering and leaving Cullen Bay marina
12 and 13
Ship manoeuvring with the assistance of tugs
14 and 69
Navy port working frequency
[International] distress, safety and calling
Ship-to-shore channel for vessels working in Hudson Creek
Bladin Point operations
Darwin Harbour Control weather and notices to mariners information channel (0703 & 1903)
Bayview Marina Lockmaster
Communications with vessels entering or leaving Bayview marina
Ship to Ship, Customs and Quarantine
Yacht racing and Regattas
Darwin Marine Supply Base
Darwin Marine Supply Base operations