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Vessel Traffic Services

 

The IMO defines a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) as a service implemented by a Competent Authority, designed to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic and to protect the environment. The service should have the capability to interact with the traffic and to respond to traffic situations developing in the VTS area. The IALA VTS Manual states that “The realities of modern shipping, with larger and less manoeuvrable ships, traffic congestion in ports and waterways, hazardous cargoes and the potential for environmental damage, demanded that sophisticated measures be taken to reduce risks. Establishing Vessel Traffic Services was and still is a significant response to that demand”.

The IMO identifies three types of service that can be provided by a VTS:

  • Information Service (INS)
  • Traffic Organisation Service (TOS)
  • Navigational Assistance Service (NAS)

The title of each service in each case is largely self-explanatory. In its simplest form, a VTS may provide basic information on which the master of the vessel bases his own decisions without further intervention from ashore.  More usually, however, a VTS is also directly involved in the organisation and management of vessel traffic within its area of responsibility. As part of these services, the VTS should provide an oversight of the navigational safety of vessels and provide navigational assistance and advice if appropriate.

The VTS should be manned by personnel nationally certificated to the internationally recognised IALA V103 course standard. The types of service provided by a VTS will be promulgated in appropriate hydrographic publications.

IALA International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities

IALA is a non-profit, international technical association. Established in 1957, it brings together authorities concerned with marine aids to navigation, as well as manufactures and consultants from all parts of the world, and offers them the opportunity to compare their experiences and achievements. IALA’s aim is to harmonize aids to navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious, cost-effective and harmless to the environment. VTS documentation and standards in the form of standards, recommendations, guidelines, brochures and the VTS Manual are available free of charge for download under the “Publications” tab on the IALA website.

Aids to Navigation (AtoN)

Aids to navigation can take the form of fixed or floating marks that may be lit or unlit, including lighthouses, leading lines, buoys and beacons. A vessel traffic service (VTS) can also be categorised as an AtoN, albeit a very sophisticated and relatively costly one. The mix of AtoN used in a port or waterway is determined by means of a risk assessment, which takes into account the local geography, traffic patterns, vessel size and manoeuvrability, local hydrographic conditions and weather patterns. IALA publications include guidance on maintenance and location of AtoN.

Latest News & Events

Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )

No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.

These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.

Hotel staff and entertainers

These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.

With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.

Call to governments

IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.

Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.

Concern at IFSMA

IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment.  Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments. 

Unprecedented times

Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO.  This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Role of Harbour Master/ Port Operations Professional
Security
Port Call Optimisation
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Vessel Traffic Services
Safety
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Emergency Management
Environment

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Kick off the festive season by attending the biggest salvage industry event of the year – Salvage & Wreck Removal conference (4 – 5 December 2019, London) – meet all the key industry stakeholders, and discuss legal and insurance issues, examine recent casualty operations and incidents, and focus on the future of salvage, new ways of working and emerging technology.

Use IHMA’s exclusive VIP code FKT3652IHMA at the checkout to save 20% on your place: http://bit.ly/36knRBO.

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  • Hear how the ‘MSC Zoe’ incident was managed with Jason Bennett, Director EMEA, Ardent and Joram Bootsma, Project Manager, Deep BV
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Use of Quantitative Risk Assessment for assessing wreck removal with Sam Kendall-Marsden, Director of Claims, The Standard Club.

See the full agenda and speaker line-up to date: http://bit.ly/2N0Z9ir.

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As part of Global Marine Casualties Week, Salvage & Wreck Removal will offer you a unique opportunity to connect with 300+ industry professionals while enjoying a relaxed atmosphere, superb three-course meal with a great selection of drinks. Find out more here: http://bit.ly/2WppauT. Register now

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Latest News & Events

Our picture shows a Carnival line up. Five Carnival ships are due in Durban in week commencing 24 May. (Photo: www.africaports.co.za )

No less than five Carnival Cruise ships are due to arrive in Durban between 26 and 28 May to take on bunkers and to restock depleted supplies.

These five ships are part of a group of 12 engaged in the humanitarian task of repatriating over 26,000 crew from the Carnival fleet and other companies, as well as personnel from entertainment centres ashore, who because of the coronavirus pandemic, have had their employment suddenly curtailed.

Hotel staff and entertainers

These are the entertainment staff, the onboard shop workers, beauty salon practitioners, waiters and bus boys, chefs and kitchen staff, cabin cleaners, pursers and front desk people all making up the staff working on board cruise ships.

With cruising curtailed these former employees are finally returning home to destinations like India, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines after having remained on board their ships for more than two months, unable to go ashore or receive visitors ever since cruising operations were suspended in mid -March. Ahead they face another three or four weeks at sea before being allowed to disembark. However, there’s something of a problem.

Call to governments

IFSMA* calls upon Governments to adopt the Framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the COVID-19 pandemic without delay to allow ship owners and management companies to change over their dangerously tired crews.

Governments must act now in order to avoid personal injury to, and mental breakdown of, seafarers and avoid the significant risk of accidents and consequential danger to life and the environment.

Concern at IFSMA

IFSMA is receiving an increasing number of reports from its ship masters’ associations around the world concerned for the welfare and safety of crews and the increased risk with which they are operating in an already high risk environment.  Seafarers are feeling let down and abandoned by their Governments. 

Unprecedented times

Following concerns from the maritime industry, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a circular to all Member States, the UN and agencies and IGOs and NGOs in consultative status with IMO.  This document concerned recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The IMO Secretary General has received a framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic, proposed by a cross-section of global industry associations in consultative status with the IMO, for example: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, and P&I Clubs as well as the International Air Transport Association (IATA).