Typhoon Season

29 Apr 2024 / Hong Kong

Owners, agents and charterers are requested to remind their ship masters of the need to take precautionary measures during the approach of tropical cyclones.

Masters and persons in control of vessels should closely monitor the development of tropical cyclones for making early preparation. This includes carrying out thorough inspections on board to ensure that the engines, mooring gears and other safety equipment of vessels are in good working conditions. When safe and practicable, consideration should be given to arrange vessels to leave the berth in ample time and proceed outside Hong Kong waters for shelter from extreme weather associated with super typhoons.

Masters, owners, agents and persons in control of vessels are also reminded of their obligation to comply with any direction issued by the Director of Marine concerning the safe operation of vessels and the port, or in relation to any matter which the Director may give directions under the laws of Hong Kong.

When a tropical cyclone warning is issued by the Hong Kong Observatory, every vessel which is moored to the following government mooring buoys shall clear anchors and cables and prepares the main propulsion machinery to full power condition. Such vessel shall, if so directed by the Director, leave the mooring buoy-

“A” mooring
A17, A36, A73, A74, A77, A78

“B” mooring
B03, B30

Other details of government mooring buoys are available at https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/public-services/port-services/moor/index.html

The master of a ship moored to a government mooring buoy may, at his discretion, drop a bow anchor under foot to lessen the tendency to sheer. This should not impair the efficiency of the mooring, although an anchor should not be used during normal weather conditions.

Masters are reminded that every vessel within the waters of Hong Kong must maintain continuous listening watch on the VHF radio channel appropriate to the VHF sector in which the vessel is located, or another VHF channel as may be specified by the Vessel Traffic Centre (call sign “MARDEP”). The Centre will broadcast tropical cyclone information from time to time when tropical cyclone warning signals have been issued. Masters should also listen to local radio broadcasts for weather advisory information bulletins.

An inadequately manned vessel during the passage of a tropical cyclone not only places itself at risk but also endangers the port and other vessels. Masters, owners, agents, and charterers of vessels should therefore ensure that sufficient number of qualified crew capable of carrying out all duties to ensure the safety of ship having regard to the pertaining circumstances are on board at all times during the passage of a tropical cyclone. Further information on minimum safe manning levels on ships while in the waters of Hong Kong can at https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/public-services/port-services/proc/index.html

Coxswains, owners, agents and persons in control of local vessels are advised to take the precautionary measures contained in the Marine Department pamphlet entitled “Measures to Enhance the Safety of Local Vessels During Passage of Tropical Cyclones” well before a tropical cyclone is approaching Hong Kong. The pamphlet at https://www.mardep.gov.hk/en/publication/materials/pdf/hps_cyclones.pdf

(For information about operations in Hong Kong, contact GAC Hong Kong at [email protected])

Source: Government of the Hong Kong SAR Marine Department Notice No.71/2024

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