The London Protection & Indemnity (P&I) Club has warned its members that they may be fined heavily if they allowed vessels to wash cargo residues from their decks off the Australian coast. The club, in its latest edition of StopLoss Bulletin, said the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) had decided that vessels which allowed this to happen within three miles of the coast anywhere within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park may be in contravention of pollution legislation. 'There is, however, some uncertainty about the extent of application,' it said. It has been common practice for vessels loaded with coal at Queensland ports to wash residues from decks shortly after leaving the port. Amsa has said informally that it considered cleaning needed to allow helicopters to disembark pilots under the safety exceptions to Marpol - the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. The club said the interpretation might stretch the language of the Marpol exception.