Cyclone plan for wharves and moorings

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

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.

VHF radio

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.

VHF channels


Used by

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


Darwin LNG

Wickham Point operations


All vessels

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

Naval vessels

Navy port working frequency


All vessels

[International] distress, safety and calling


Hudson Creek

Ship-to-shore channel for vessels working in Hudson Creek



Bladin Point operations


All vessels

Darwin Harbour Control weather and notices to mariners information channel (0703 & 1903)


Bayview Marina Lockmaster

Communications with vessels entering or leaving Bayview marina


All vessels

Ship to Ship, Customs and Quarantine



Yacht racing and Regattas


Darwin Marine Supply Base

Darwin Marine Supply Base operations

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Last updated: 21 November 2016

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