The waters in Gage Roads , Cockburn Sound and Fremantle’s Inner Harbour all accommodate recreational boaters and commercial operators, so we all have no choice but to learn to live together.
Close encounters between commercial shipping and recreational boats is a scenario repeated over and over throughout Australia and anywhere in the world where large commercial vessels share the waterways with smaller recreational craft. This is of particular concern in Fremantle, as all of the smaller vessels that originate from marinas and boat landings along the Swan River require Inner Harbour transit to access the open waters of Gage Roads. Additionally, all vessels going across to Rottnest, Garden and Carnac Islands need at some point to cross shipping channels and routes. Refer to Rec VL Chart Poster 2 . The commercial traffic is here to stay and will only get bigger and more frequent. Ships including large container ships, oil tankers and bulk carriers, plus tugboats towing barges, and all manners of commercial vessels are a thriving part of the Western Australian economy; delivering goods, employing labour, and contributing to the total commercial and industrial output of Australia.
With this in mind, the following is a guide for recreational vessel skippers that allows them to understand the perspective and limitations of the Pilot on board a commercial vessel, particularly large ships. The recreational skipper can then experience safe and enjoyable boating for themselves and all those on board whose wellbeing they are responsible for.