News

Read our latest news and see what we’ve been getting up to.

Our PPU laptops have found a new home at Cottage by the Sea, supporting children learning from home during this challenging time of COVID isolation....

PPSP stands with those seafarers who have sacrificed time with their families to help ensure the economic survival of global trade during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are over 150,000 seafarers trapped at sea by the COVID-19 shutdown and the time for these crew to return......

PPSP proudly support “STEER CLEAR” Now that COVID restrictions have been eased, we kindly ask all small crafts to please “STEER CLEAR” of big ships. A few reminders: – Do not anchor in shipping channels – Do not drift or anchor in transit only zones......

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SAFELY MANOEUVER A BIG SHIP UP THE YARRA RIVER? EXPERIENCE – Years of training including observation of senior pilots, tug utilisation and manoeuvring simulations. SYSTEMS – A systemised approach including: documented pre-arrival passage planning, DUKC (Dynamic Under Keel Clearance) calculations,......

MSC Pamela and Maersk Semerang passing outside the fairway through Port Phillip Heads. Ships of this size have a tight transit window of approximately 40 minutes whereby they can safely enter and exit the South Channel to and from Melbourne. These megaships with a combined......

John Joubert PDO (Pilot Despatch Officer) has recently retired from PPSP where he played an integral role ensuring our operation ran as efficiently as a swiss watch. On asking John for a memory to share during his 10 years in the role, he pondered and......

If you’ve seen a funny looking shape on the horizon in Port Phillip, it’s very possibly the rig “Ocean Onyx” awaiting its next job. The heavy lift ship “Blue Marlin” carried the rig on deck and when in position, ballasted to a depth where the......

Our book release ”Pilot on Board” by Brendan Moloney celebrates Port Philip Sea Pilots 175th anniversary and includes, The age of sails Piracy in Port Phillip Lost at sea The threat of war and much more. A must read for anyone who enjoys early Victorian......

PPSP has developed a comprehensive Business Continuity Plan BCP to deal with the rapidly evolving COVID-19 Pandemic The development and implementation of this plan has been a collaborative effort between our entire team. The effectiveness of the plan requires all of our team to take......

Port Phillip Sea Pilots are excited to welcome “PV Petrel III” to its fleet of purpose built, highly efficient Pilot Vessels that service the Port of Melbourne, Western Port and Geelong. Safety of our pilots in adverse weather conditions is paramount, and Petrel III is......

A new Mavis has arrived in Queenscliff and she’s set to turn people’s heads – all 43 feet of her. The 30-year old pilot boat Mavis III is the latest donation to land at one of the region’s most hostoric museums. Port Phillip Sea Pilots......

Farewell to PV Mavis III, built in 1994, she serviced Port Phillip Bay and Heads for 26 years. Mavis was one of the last Pilot Vessels to be built in house at Queenscliff by past and present crew. Jack Beazley (pictured in yellow, aged 93),......

Port Phillip Sea Pilots are delighted that a recent charity event run by Point Lonsdale Board Riders raised $10000 for the Victorian bushfire appeal. We are humbled that a large part of that money was for the auction of a gift we donated to the......

On the morning of the 22nd of February, Port Phillip Sea Pilots PDO (Pilot Despatch Officer) over heard a call for assistance from a local cray fisherman in the vicinity of Point Nepean, he reported to have a gear box issue and was drifting dangerously......

PPSP in co-ordination with Svitzer Australia and Victoria Ports Corporation Melbourne recently conducted verification simulation exercises to evaluate the possibility of manoeuvring larger ships into the Port of Melbourne. These simulations assess challenging manoeuvres and enable all parties to confirm how reduced operating margins should be managed.......

Peter Mitchell, Mornington Peninsula Leader, July 5, 2019 5:00pm Sea pilots are a common sight for anyone who lives on the Mornington Peninsula. Cast your gaze towards Port Phillip Bay and you’ll see them chugging along the super highway that is our main shipping channel.......

From between the heads of Port Phillip Bay, the Prominent Ace, a giant container ship, is a blip on the horizon that could be mistaken for a whitecap. It gradually looms into fuller view in all its 10-storey immensity. But it will travel no further......

Captain Charles Griffiths (pictured) will travel to Malaysia later this month with six Australian marine pilots. They will finish a competency audit at the Star Cruises training simulator in Port Klang. Australian and New Zealand pilots are regarded as a decade ahead of other pilotage......

Cost-cutting by governments around the world through the privatisation of marine safety bodies has been fiercely criticised by maritime pilots. More than 400 delegates from around the world at the  XVth International Maritime Pilots’ Association Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii, have unanimously supported a resolution calling......

A US PILOT believes his Australian counterparts are far ahead of pilots in most other nations in terms and acceptance of innovation. In areas such as Bridge Resource Management and the study of fatigue, he says Australia is far out in front. Captain Jon Timmel,......

Neil Morrison: commercial benefits of helicopters A three-month trial to test the transfer of pilots by helicopter to waiting vessels in Newcastle began late last month and 56 transfers have been conducted without a hitch. One of the issues the trial will resolve is the......

A BILL that provides for an open competition in the provision of pilotage services in Victorian ports has been passed in the state parliament – but doubts remain over how the state government sees competition being achieved. During parliamentary debate on the bill opposition MLA......

PORT Phillip Sea Pilots this week placed an order for a new $1.5 million pilot launch with Chivers Marine in Western Australia. PPSP’s managing director Captain Charles Griffiths said: “The vessel is similar in appearance to our other 16.5 metre launch but is stronger and......

The Port Phillip Sea Pilots have added a new fast launch to their fleet. The 13 meter Victoria III, has a 26 knot service speed, and is powered by a Cummins diesel engine, which PPSP managing Director, Charles Griffiths says are “used exclusively because their......

THE lighthouse at Point Lonsdale, a welcome sight for seafarers almost all this century, is in danger of losing its crew to the march oft technology. A video surveillance system may replace lighthouse keepers under reforms being investigated by a State Government authority. The Victorian......

MELBOURNE: Victorian Roads and Ports Minister Geoff Craige’s wife, Anette, stole the limelight from her husband on Sunday when she took the helm of Port Phillip Sea Pilot’s sleek new launch, Hawk IV. Mrs Craige, who officially named the vessel, then steered the 16.5 metre......

RESCUING people from the sea is second nature to well-knows Flinders identity Tom Delaney, who knows the local waters “like the back of his hand” Tom, 63, has lost count of the number of distressed mariners he’s pulled to dafety, and some of them aren’t......

When Australia was only 50 years old, when Queenscliff and Geelong were only villages and the port of Geelong didn’t even exist, the Port Phillip Sea Pilots opened for business. Many shios were coming to grief on the reefs bordering both shores of the treacherous......

MELBOURNE: The Port Phillip Sea Pilots will mark their 150 years anniversary in June and July 1989. Licensed pilots have been available at Port Phillip Heads since 1839, when merchants petitioned Governor George Gibb of New South Wales to grant Captain George Tobin a license.......

Harbor pilot, Captain Paul RInge: “You get to do the best part – berthing and unberthing.- Picture: Greg Scullin Piloting the polish tall ship Dar Mlodziezy into Princes Pier last week was, according to Captain Paul Ringe, one of the high-lights of his 25 years......

At least 80 percent of Port Phillip sea pilots who retired between 1975 and 1981 were forced to quit because of ill health. And almost half of those pilots died within a year of retirement as a result of their illness. These findings are part......

The Victorian Government may put up the money needed to keep the 100-year-old ketch Hawk in Melbourne. The Ship’s owner-skipper Capt. Jacques Sapir said yesterday he has been advised through the Premier’s Department to postpone sailing away. Capt. Sapir had planned to sail the 30......

The 99-year-old ketch Hawk sails back to Melbourne yesterday after an absence of many years. The Hawks was one of the last pilot schooners to operate from Port Phillip Heads, giving way to a steam yacht in 1903. The oldest sail trader still operating in......

LAUNCESTON. – When the 65m. Wyuna slipped into berth at Launceston late last month, the six pilots and nine master mariners on board witnessed the end of an era – and the start of a new one. The men had accompanied the famous cutter on......

When the pilot ship Wyuna leaves Port Phillip Bay at 10am tomorrow an era that has lasted 126 years will end.  The Port Phillip Pilot Service has sold the 1300-tonne cutter and replaced it with a launch that will operate from Queenscliff. For the past......

The Australian Maritime College has bought the former Port Phillip pilot ship Wyuna as a training vessel. Since 1975, the Wyuna has been anchored off Queenscliff serving as an accommodation ship for the Pot Phillip Sea Pilots. The Wyuna will finish service on November 29,......

A MAN who guided about 3500 ships through the notorious Port Phillip Bay rip has put away his charts for the last time – well almost. Cap. John Noble, 65, a seaman for 50 years, has retired after 20 years as a Port Phillip pilot.......

The Port Phillip Sea Pilots yesterday took delivery of their newest launch, the 40-foot (13-metre) Ranger. Ranger will be the third launch of its type to be commissioned by the pilots and will join the Hawk II and Alvina. Ranger, built and fitted in England,......

Helicopters could be used to drop pilots into ships waiting to go through the Heads. The helicopters would either land on the ships deck or hover above while the pilot was winched down into the ship. But this all depends on a report which is......

Wreck of the pilot boat Rip. “She was standing out through the broken water at the entrance to Port Phillip Heads, heavy seas continually breaking on board, when, in attempting to wear, she was struck by a huge wave like a wall of water, and......