Steer Clear of Ships in the Rip

During the Easter break, many Victorian’s will take the opportunity to get out onto the water for a fish with family and friends.

With Port Phillip Bay being a popular area for fishing, boating and yachting as well as other water based activities, it is important to be aware that it is also a pathway for large commercial ships travelling to and from the ports in Melbourne and Geelong.

With the strong resurgence in Victorian waters of yellowtail kingfish, there has been a growth in the number of boats accessing the fishery. While kingfish range across all Victorian coastal waters, the ‘canyons’ in the Rip provide an ideal structure for kingfish and the area has become a fishing hotspot.

For those fishing in Port Phillip Bay, it is important to remember to Steer Clear of the Ships in the Rip, to ensure the safety of all fishers within the area. Any recreational fishers who fish within the Port Phillip Bay area should familiarise themselves with the following tips to safely and responsibly enjoy all that Port Phillip Bay has to offer.

Vessels must not anchor or drift within the transit only zone (TOZ). Please keep to the landside of the TOZ beacons which have a yellow cross on top.

Ships can weigh more than 150,000 tonnes and cannot change course suddenly. They often are travelling faster than you think.

Steer Clear of Ships in the Rip

  • Anchoring and trolling in the rip is extremely dangerous
  • The Rip in Port Phillip Bay is a high traffic area for ships
  • Don’t leave it too late.
  • If you cannot see the ship’s bridge they cannot see you
  • Steer clear of ships at all times
  • Ships cannot alter course in the rip
  • Penalties may apply

The Transit Only Zone

  • Covers the Port Melbourne Channel south of Breakwater Pier, the water approximately 500 metres to the west and 200 metres to the east of that channel
  • Includes the Eastern By-Pass Channel and the Western By-Pass Channel (beside the Port Melbourne Channel)
  • Extends approximately 3 nautical miles to the south of Fawkner Beacon.

For more information contact:

Navigation Services
Victorian Ports Corporation (Melbourne)
Tel: 1300 857 662

Visit the Victorian Ports Corporation website for Community and Bay users for further information.

Download the Steer Clear of Ships In the Rip Safety Brochure

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