Australian Reef Pilots invests in New Helicopter, New Boat
Date: 21.09.2012
Leading marine pilotage company Australian Reef Pilots (ARP) has issued a vote of confidence in Australia’s economic future by substantially boosting its service capabilities.

ARP has just taken delivery of a locally built, made-to-order launch and leased a state-of-the-art helicopter to fly one Australia’s busiest marine pilot transfer runs for shipping serving some of the world’s most lucrative coal deposits in Queensland, Australia.

ARP Chief Executive Officer Simon Meyjes said the enhanced operational capabilities meant improved customer service and efficiencies for ARP’s shipping customers.

“This is value-adding. We have always been focussed on customer service; now with these additional assets we will be able to deliver a strategic advantage in terms of improved safety and faster turnaround times resulting in appreciable economic benefits for our clients,” Mr Meyjes said.

“ARP is demonstrating, in a very real way, its commitment to risk minimisation in the Reef, coupled with quality service levels to the shipping industry and the industries it supports.”

The helicopter is an as new twin engine Agusta 109E Power Elite specially modified for long range marine pilot transfers between the coastal city of Mackay and the Blossom Bank pilot boarding ground, approximately 110 miles off the coast.

ARP pilots navigate ships across the Great Barrier Reef, transiting Hydrographers Passage and in/out of the ports of Hay Point, Dalrymple Bay and Mack.

Mr Meyjes said the Agusta could fly day and night due to full IFR; it has a three axis autopilot plus stormscope and a five cell fuel unit allowing a range of 420nm.

“This helicopter provides an invaluable service given that it’s capable of flying at night; it’s very fast, has long endurance and can cope with bad weather. It offers the industry the only dedicated marine pilot transfer service through Hydrographers Passage,” he said.

The new launch, Malu Mai (Ocean Pearl) was built by renowned Brisbane (Australia) boat builders Norman R Wright & Sons to ARP’s exacting specifications. It is 46.5 feet long, 18 tonne and is powered by twin 500 hp Scania diesels.

Like its aerial sibling, it is designed to withstand testing weather conditions and is also capable of superior service delivery.

“The Malu Mai will be based in Cairns, Far North Queensland and will complement our contingent of 44 marine pilots servicing the Reef,” Mr Meyjes said.

“It will be used to service ships navigating through the Inner route of the Great Barrier Reef, offering a state of the art, reliable and robust service for shipping in this area.”

Australian Reef Pilots has five working pilot stations and a head office in Brisbane. It employs 44 marine pilots and owns or operates 11 boats and has access to five helicopters under lease agreements. ARP provides 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a week service.

For more information visit www.reefpilots.com.au.

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Trewin – Sequel Communications (07) 3251 8111 or 0403 090 915.

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