First cruise visit delayed due to weather

Published: Thursday, 27 October 2022 at 9:47:17 AM

Mid West Ports Authority (MWPA) was due to welcome cruise ship, Coral Princess, to the Port of Geraldton tomorrow morning, Thursday 27th October 2022. 

The most recent weather forecast indicates high surge, swell and wind tolerances which are outside of MWPA’s safe operational parameters for a ship of this size.

Safety concerns include navigation in the shipping channel, pilot embarkation and disembarkation, and difficulty in keeping the vessel safely alongside the berth due to the high windage area (area of the side of the ship that wind impacts). 

In addition, these weather conditions do not allow for the ship to go to anchor, with passengers tendering to shore. 

The preferred anchoring location for cruise vessels tendering does not allow enough clearance in seas of this nature, in addition to the safety concerns for passengers transferring from ship to tender in high seas.

For these safety reasons, MWPA has advised the Coral Princess Ship Agent that on this occasion a visit to Geraldton is not possible.

Since the introduction of Shore Tension Units (STU’s) at the port in 2017, we have successfully berthed 100% of cruise vessels.

STU’s assist in maintaining a consistent tension on a ships moored lines, required to keep a vessel safely alongside, improving surge and swell tolerances in a harbour.

The Coral Princess, however, is the largest and longest vessel we have accepted to berth at the Port of Geraldton. 

Understandably, larger vessels have smaller tolerances and pose greater safety concerns.  Weather conditions are a contributing factor when assessing safe operational parameters, and in this case, the conditions are outside of these parameters.

Coral Princess will sail direct to Fremantle for an earlier than scheduled arrival.

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