Arrium Mining has had several instances in recent months where sailing vessels have run in to trouble while out in the Spencer Gulf and have sought refuge in its Inner Harbour.
No formal communication was made with the Whyalla port to advise that these vessels would be coming into the harbour.
Arrium Mining would like to reiterate to mariners that this is an extremely busy port and, as such, it can be a very dangerous place for vessels that are unfamiliar with the safety protocols that are in place.
One of the principle dangers to boats is that ships transiting the shipping channels cannot stop or turn around.
As such, they pose a significant risk to boats trying to enter the Whyalla Port simultaneously, particularly when unannounced.
While Arrium Mining is more than happy to provide shelter to mariners in distress, it is also very mindful of the safety of all vessels in and around the port and those people on those vessels.
As such, should anyone run into distress in the Spencer Gulf and be unable to make it back to the marina under their own power, the below protocols should be followed:
1. Contact Whyalla Sea Rescue on 8644 0414. They can assist and/or tow vessels back into the harbour
2. If Whyalla Sea Rescue cannot provide assistance and the only option remaining to the vessel in distress is to come into the Whyalla Port, please contact Arrium Mining security on 8640 4000.
Security will then contact the appropriate people to ensure these harbour movements are carried out in a safe manner.
Anyone with questions regarding any of the above is encouraged to contact Arrium Mining’s port services manager Ashley Dean on 0408 135 355.
More general information regarding marine radio frequencies (emergency channel VHF 16), and distress, safety and urgency calls can be found on the government of South Australia’s website: http://www.sa.gov.au.