New measures to improve the safety of boat passengers on Australian waterways have been introduced by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
In a statement, the AMSA said the changes would clarify and strengthen requirements for monitoring and counting passengers and managing missing passenger situations.
It said that from 31 May any domestic commercial vessel that carried passengers must meet the new requirements for passenger safety.
“Operators of a vessel that takes passengers must include a procedure in its safety management system to ensure passengers are monitored and accounted for during a voyage,” the AMSA said.
“The procedure must allow the master to be able to identify how many passengers are on board at any time.”
It said vessels must also have an emergency procedure to deal with missing passengers, and some operators would need to ensure that their procedures include a count of all passengers on board the vessel when one or more passengers embark or disembark from the vessel.
“Operators must also keep a record of the results of any passenger counts in the vessel’s logbook,” the AMSA said.
“AMSA will be holding a series of information sessions around the country during the transition period to explain the new requirements and provide advice on how to meet and be compliant with the new requirements.”