MARINERS are advised that Maritime Safety Queensland will be trialling the use of virtual navigation aids on the Wide Bay Bar. The virtual navaids will be activated in the week commencing August 22, 2022 and will be trialled over the following weeks to ascertain accuracy and reliability.
Mariners are warned not to rely on the virtual navaids as a primary means of navigation when crossing the bar. The aids are being tested and until the system is proven to be reliable and accurate, the position of the navaids displayed cannot be relied upon for navigation and should be used with caution.
The chart pictured provides the nomenclature and intended positions of the virtual navaids that will be displayed on a vessels AIS system.
Mariners are encouraged to report details of their experience with the virtual navaids being displayed on their AIS systems, to the Regional Harbour Master Gladstone by email to email@example.com
The latest information regarding conditions on the bar can be obtained from Tin Can Bay Coast Guard on (07) 5486 4290, or VHF Ch 16, 67, 80 and 82, or 27Mhz Ch 88 and 90. Tin Can Bay Coast Guard should continue to be consulted for the most up-to-date information regarding the bar and reference points to assist with crossing the Wide Bay Bar.
Mariners are reminded the virtual navaids are a virtual representation of the IALA Maritime Buoyage System A and represent ‘safe water’ and ‘port’ and ‘starboard’ lateral navigation beacons. They are to be passed on the port or starboard side of the vessel depending on the beacon. They are not waypoints or reference points that are steered towards and passed over. Advice will be provided when the virtual navaids either become operational or are withdrawn on completion of the trial period. Mariners are reminded Wide Bay Bar is a designated coastal bar and as such there is a requirement to wear a lifejacket while crossing the bar in open boats under 4.8m.