Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Hydrographers Passage Weather

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 on vessel

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.

Anti-Pollution Regulations

Anti-Pollution/Ballast water regulations forbid the dumping or discharge of plastics, refuse, cargo residues or garbage of any description into the waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP).

Ballast Water

Ballast water must not be exchanged within Great Barrier Reef waters.


Reefrep reporting is mandatory for all ships traversing Hydrographers Passage.

Compulsory Pilotage Areas Serviced by Hydro Marine Pilots

Hydro Marine Pilots is licenced to assist shipping companies with Marine Pilot Services in Hydrographers Passage.

What ships require Compulsory Pilotage on the Great Barrier Reef?

Regulations require that all vessels of 70 meters overall length, and all loaded oil, chemical, and liquefied gas carriers irrespective of their size are accompanied by a licenced Marine Pilot.

What qualifications to Hyndro Marine Pilots hold?

All Marine Pilots employed by Hydro Marine Pilots are Master Mariners and are licenced by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).

What transfer method is used by Hydro Marine Pilots?

All transfers used by Hydro Marine Pilots are by helicopter. Hydro Marine Pilots utilise the services of their specialist HMPT helicopter sister companies Mackay Helicopters, Gladstone Helicopters, and Whitsunday Helicopters.

During what hours are Hydro Marine Pilots available to conduct Marine Pilotage?

Hydro Marine Pilots offer services 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. We operate across all Australian public holidays.

Can Hydro Marine Pilots provide charts for transiting ships?

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 company’s:

Australia has full ENC coverage, so vessels may navigate using an ECDIS system, instead of paper charts. Hydro Marine Pilots can arrange 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 time of Pilot booking.

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