Hydro Marine Pilots Ships Bridge

AMSA Licensed Marine Pilots

Hydrographers Passage

Hydro Marine Pilots Ships Radar

Information to help you plan


Pilot booking procedures

Passage planning & monitoring

Requirements for safe passage

Pilot Booking Proceedures

1.   Please provide initial ETA to Blossom Bank:

  • PBG LAT 19 43’S LONG 150 26’E to:
  • operations@hydromarinepilots.com.au

2.   Master to provide the following details:

  • Vessels IMO & Call Sign
  • Vessels email, Sat C and Telephone number

3.   Hydro Marine Pilots operations will respond with:

  • Confirmation of booking
  • Advice on Pilot boarding procedures
  • Passage Plan for vessels transit
  • Pre-boarding information for Masters & Officer

4.   Hydro Marine Pilots will request ETA updates be sent to:

  • operations@hydromarinepilots.com.au at 96/72/48/24/12 and 6 hours.  Upon final ETA update our office will provide confirmation of Pilot boarding time.

Pilot Planning & Monitoring

Upon booking confirmation, Hydro Marine Pilots will forward the way-points for the transit to the vessel. The Officer of the Watch should enter the way-points into the ships GPS, radars and Electronic Chart Display & Information System (ECDIS) and set the “way-point arrival” alarm (5 cable) and “off course” alarm” (2 cable limit). After boarding, and when the Pilot has determined that the ship is in a safe position, he will discuss the Passage Plan and check lists with the Master and Bridge Team. Transits of Hydrographers Passage are carried out at “full sea speed”. This is required to minimise rolling of our Pilot helicopter during embarkation/disembarkation. There is generally no requirement for maneuvering speed until the vessel arrives at port limits when inbound. The Pilot will advise the Master and Bridge Team of the tidal streams to be expected through the passage. The Pilot may have his own Electronic Charting System (ECS) however the ship’s and Pilot’s GPS and Electronic Charting System are “aids to navigation” and should be used in conjunction with other traditional navigation position fixing methods and parallel indexing. The Officer of the Watch should continue to plot the ship’s position on the chart at frequent intervals of not less than 10 minutes between Blossom and Bugatti Reef and 15 minutes elsewhere. The Officer of the Watch should advise the Pilot when there is one mile to course alteration.

Requirements for Safe Transit

At all times during pilotage through Hydrographers Passage the Master must ensure that:

  • A guaranteed supply of electrical power and steering systems is maintained. Two steering motors should be running (unless the steering gear system does not allow this).
  • The Engine room should be manned at all times.
  • Anchors have their lashings removed and are ready for use at short notice.
  • When automatic steering is used an experienced seaman must be within easy call to take the wheel when required.
  • One of the ship’s VHF sets must be kept on channel 16 at all times with the volume turned up.
  • At least one radar it to be operational.
  • Power is supplied to the Ship’s whistle.
  • A hand held signal lamp is rigged and ready for use.
  • Any problems with the ship’s engine machinery or navigation equipment reliability must be brought to the attention of the Pilot.

Helicopter Information

Mackay Helicopters, Gladstone Helicopters, and Whitsunday Helicopters are part of the Aviator Group, and are tasked with Marine Pilot Transfer operations for all Hydro Marine Pilots vessels. Featuring a large team of highly qualified MPT Helicopter Pilots they offer Hydro Marine Pilots customers reliability of service. With the fleet comprising of AS350, AW109, Bell 222 and EC 135 aircraft, Mackay Helicopters, Gladstone Helicopters, and Whitsunday Helicopters provide our marine Pilot operations with:

  • World class industry best practice across all operations.
  • An extensive fleet of aircraft providing service surety with back up aircraft offering full redundancy.
  • In house maintenance facility for reliability of service.
  • Approved aviation Safety Management System.
  • Externally audited.
  • The largest and most experienced team of HMPT helicopter pilots.
  • Safe and efficient operations for industry partners.

Charts & Additional Services

All vessels operating in Australian waters must carry up-to-date official Australian charts. Admiralty (BA AUS) charts are acceptable, however not all the AUS charts are available from Admiralty and vessels should consult the Australian Chart Index to ensure their folios are complete and compliant. We provide the following information which may be of help to shipping companies:

Australia has full ENC coverage, so vessels may navigate using an ECDIS system, instead of paper charts. Hydro Marine Pilots can arrange the supply of the following items:

  • Fully corrected and certified Australian, New Zealand & Admiralty charts.
  • Admiralty (NP) and Australian (AHP) publications.
  • Printed Annual & Fortnightly NtMs & tracings, and Cumulative Lists.
  • Commercial Publications & Logs (AMSA, IMO, ITU, Lloyds, Witherby, etc).
  • Courtesy National flags & maritime code flags (various sizes).
  • Stationery and bridge supplies.
  • Embark charts & publications with Pilot. Priority freight services available.

Orders can be placed through Hydro Marine Pilots at the time of Pilot booking.

Additional information for Vessels Master


During the dry season, April through October, there is generally settled weather accompanying the South East Tradewinds. Wind strengths of 15 to 30 knots are common. During the wet season, December through March winds and currents are likely to be variable with frequent periods of heavy rain. Tropical Revolving Storms (Cyclones) are more likely to form during this time.

Pilot Accommodation

Please note that on some occasions the Pilot will have to stay on-board upon completion of the Pilotage to await helicopter transfer ashore. Hydro Marine Pilots therefore kindly request that suitable accommodation be made available for the Pilot.

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