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Beware ships in the night on Port River

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Shipping movements in the Port River have increased almost 50 per cent in the last 10 years, raising safety concerns for smaller vessels.

Flinders Ports is spearheading a public awareness campaign to urge fishing and recreational users to stay safe on the Port River this summer.

Shipping on the Port River has increased from 2,028 ship movements in 2003 to 2,938 in 2013.

The size of the ships calling at Port Adelaide has also increased.

The port operator says the safety concerns arise from more large cruise ships, a longer cruise ship season and a greater likelihood that smaller fishing and recreational vessels could find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Fortunately, we have never had a ship collision incident on the Port River … but there is still a genuine risk,” a company spokesman said.

“Large ships can’t always see fishing boats and if they do, stopping quickly or changing course is difficult.”

Flinders Ports has rolled out a series of public safety adverts and presentations to local yacht clubs urging small boats to avoid large ships by staying out of the Port River channel and its approaches.

“Fishermen and women are responsible for their own safety and by taking some precautions the risks can be reduced.  Always have safety equipment on-board and steer clear of the channel.  As for anchoring there – that’s highly dangerous and a definite no-no,” the spokesman said.

“Information on shipping movements is available online.  I urge all fishermen and women to take the time to consult the Port Management Information System (PortMIS) on the Flinders Ports website.”

PortMIS contains live data on actual and expected shipping movements.

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