Vessel Traffic Service News

07 Feb 2020

Australia Ship Sim Center Opens

HR Wallingford's newly built tug bridge simulator (Photo: HR Wallingford)

The Western Australian Minister for Ports, the Hon. Alannah MacTiernan MLC opened the expanded facilities of HR Wallingford’s new Australia Ship Simulation Center.HR Wallingford has added two new purpose-built simulators to its center in Fremantle, bringing the total number of simulators that it owns and operates there to six. This makes it one of the largest ship simulation centers in Australia and allows a full maneuvering team (including pilots, tug masters and vessel traffic service (VTS) operators) to conduct integrated and immersive full port scenarios.In her speech…

03 Feb 2020

Towing Vessel Grounds Near Berwick, La.

Members from Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City’s marine inspections team and investigations team respond to a report of a towing vessel that ran aground on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway at mile marker 99, near Berwick, La., February 3, 2020. The towing vessel company has hired a salvage company to assist the salvage of the barge. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

A section of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway has been closed after a towing vessel ran aground at mile marker 99, near Berwick, La., the U.S. Coast Guard said.Watchstanders at Vessel Traffic Service Berwick Bay received a report at approximately 10 p.m., Sunday, that the towing vessel Miss Odessa, carrying six hopper barges filled with rock, ran aground.The Miss Odessa was reportedly transiting south-bound on the Atchafalaya River when it turned west onto the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and hit bottom.

28 Jan 2020

Coast Guard Suspends Search for Three Missing Mariners

The search for three missing mariners was called off on Monday after two towing vessels collided on the Mississippi River at mile marker 123, near Luling, La., Sunday, the U.S. Coast Guard said.Search crews scoured more than 835 nautical miles for approximately 67 hours but were unable to find the three missing mariners, the Coast Guard said.The towing vessel Cooperative Spirit was reportedly transiting upbound on the river when it entered a barge fleeting area and allied with barges before colliding with another towing vessel RC Creppel, causing the RC Creppel to sink and barges to breakaway. Four crew members were missing intially, but one was rescued by nearby vessel.The RC Creppel was pushing two barges carrying sulfuric acid.

16 Jan 2020

Search Called Off for Two Missing After Ship Collision

The stern of Pappy's Pride appears above the waterline beside the vessel's inflatable life raft after a collision with chemical tanker Bow Fortune in Galveston, Texas. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Station Galveston)

Responders have called off a search for two fisherman missing following a fatal ship collision near Galveston, Texas, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.One crew member has been rescued, one is deceased and two remain missing at the conclusion of a three-day search involving the Coast Guard and local responders that covered more than 49 square miles by aerial flights, shore patrols and maritime searches.“It is never an easy decision to suspend a search," said Cmdr. Jordan Baldueza, Sector Houston-Galveston search and rescue mission coordinator.

27 Dec 2019

Captain Pleads Guilty to Operating Bulker While Intoxicated

© Marko Waite / MarineTraffic.com

The master of a Gibraltar-flagged bulk carrier has pleaded guilty to operating a commercial cargo ship while intoxicated, announced U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson and U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port Marie Byrd.In pleading guilty, Vadim Humenyuk, of Izmail, Ukraine, admitted that he was intoxicated while serving as the 590-foot long Rainbow Quest while in San Francisco Bay and preparing to sail to South Korea. The plea was accepted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixon.The investigation began on Tuesday…

17 Dec 2019

Wärtsilä's VTS for Two French Ports

Calais VTS (Photo: Wärtsilä)

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply its Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) solution to two of France’s leading ports, Calais and Boulogne. The Wärtsilä VTS will effectively manage vessel traffic in these busy harbors to deliver greater operational efficiency and safety. The order with Wärtsilä was placed in October 2019 by Région Hauts-de-France, the government entity responsible for this tender.The system optimizes planning and traffic monitoring to reduce waiting time for vessels and allow just-in-time pilotage.

20 Sep 2019

CG Responds to Breakaway Barges Striking Bridge in Texas

The Coast Guard is responding after at least two barges struck the I-10 San Jacinto River Bridge near Channelview, Texas, Friday.At 12:05 a.m., Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a report that nine barges had broken away from their moorings at the San Jacinto River Fleet, north of the San Jacinto River bridge.An Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew and a Station Houston 29-foot Response Boat-Small boatcrew were diverted to the scene.Sector Houston-Galveston Vessel Traffic Service had already suspended vessel movement under the I-10 bridge at 7:20 p.m. Thursday due to strong currents. The suspension remains in effect.

02 Jul 2019

Dover Selects Cambridge Pixel's Radar Tech

Photo courtesy of Cambridge Pixel

Cambridge Pixel, a developer of radar display, tracking and recording sub-systems, has supplied its radar video trackers and display technology to Marico Marine as part of a major investment by the Port of Dover into safety systems at Europe’s busiest ferry port.Engineers at Marico Marine (Southampton, England) needed a low cost, open, softwarebased radar tracker for integration with its new vessel traffic service (VTS) system in Dover.It was important that the tracker worked…

09 Apr 2019

Gothenburg Port Intros New Bunkering App

The Gothenburg Port Authority's newly developed bunkering app makes bunkering operations easier and more efficient. Photo: Gothenburg Port Authority.

The Gothenburg Port Authority launched a digital solution designed to make bunkering at the Energy Port easier and more efficient.The new ‘Bunkering App’ is one of the first in the world to offer this range of functionality, said a press release from the  largest port in the Nordic countries.The Port of Gothenburg Energy Port is the largest open access energy port in the Nordic region, handling over 2,500 calls and more than 23 million tonnes of energy products each year. The Energy Port is also one of the world's larger bunkering hubs.

03 Apr 2019

Fujitsu, MPA to Curb Ship Collisions

Image: Fujitsu

Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company Fujitsu Ltd and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) are testing technology that could give ship captains earlier warnings about potential collisions with other vessels.A two-year field trial of the system has concluded, and further tests will be conducted before authorities decide whether to deploy the system, said a press release.Fujitsu has demonstrated the usefulness of a novel ship collision…

29 Mar 2019

Containership Spills Oil in New York

A containership has reportedly leaked fuel oil into the Arthur Kill waterway near Staten Island, N.Y., the U.S. Coast Guard said.The Coast Guard said it is working alongside partner agencies to respond to the spill, which occurred while the vessel was moored at the Global Marine New York Container Terminal on Thursday afternoon. The amount of fuel spilled is currently unknown, and the cause of the spill is under investigation, the Coast Guard said.A Unified Command has been established on scene to coordinate cleanup efforts. Containment boom has been placed around the vessel and there are multiple oil spill response vessels actively…

26 Mar 2019

USCG: Limited Opening of San Jac River Announced

The port of Houston Refining complex (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Irina K

The USCG Captain of the Port has updated vessel traffic coordination directives. Facility cargo operations as of March 25, 2019 include Limited Opening of the San Jacinto River during Daylight Hours and Resumption of Cargo Operations.This MSIB is issued in regard to vessel traffic and facility cargo operations as a result of the chemical fire at ITC Deer Park in the Upper Houston Ship Channel (HSC).As of March 25th, 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard Captain of the Port (COTP) has opened the San Jacinto River to allow for vessel traffic during daylight hours only.

19 Mar 2019

DAPI 101: Outreach and Enforcement

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / 
© Cozyta

Even as the minimum Random Drug Testing Rate is raised to 50 PCT, the Coast Guard wants its mission to consist of 90% outreach and just 10% enforcement. Really.The domestic waterfront got some less-than-happy news when the U.S. Coast Guard announced that the calendar year 2019 minimum random drug testing rate had been set at 50 percent of covered crewmembers. It’s safe to say that nobody is happy about it, much less the Coast Guard itself.In truth, the Coast Guard had little to say about the matter.

06 Mar 2019

Wärtsilä Increases Efficiency of Portuguese Ports

Photo courtesy of Wärtsilä

The technology group Wärtsilä has successfully completed the installation and operational staff training for its Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) solution in the ports of Lisbon and Setúbal / Sesimbra in Portugal.The systems will increase the efficiency of these ports by reducing waiting time for vessels and allowing just-in-time pilotage. The state-of-the-art solution has been developed and supplied by Transas, a Wärtsilä company. The project was booked in July 2018 and completed in January 2019.The complex project comprised…

11 Feb 2019

CG Investigating Passenger Ferry Grounding

The Coast Guard is investigating a ferry grounding near Atlantic Highlands, NJ, Monday morning.At approximately 7:30 a.m., watch standers at Coast Guard Sector New York Vessel Traffic Service were notified that the 140-foot commuter ferry, with 400 passengers aboard ran aground 200-yards from the pier in Atlantic Highlands, N.J.All passengers were safely disembarked at the ferry terminal pier.Sector New York marine investigators and marine inspectors are scheduled to conduct a structural assessment to ensure the integrity of the vessel prior to returning to operations.No injuries or pollution have been reported.

19 Sep 2018

ECDIS & Maritime Accident Investigation

Radar Chart Overlay approaching Gibraltar Bay. Image: LOC

It’s not where you are, it’s where you should not be that mattersCaptain Whyte, a leading marine accident analyst at LOC Group, an independent marine and engineering consultancy which provides services to the shipping and offshore energy industries, explains how electronic data is making accident investigation clearer by providing irrefutable evidence.“Fundamentally, situational awareness underpins everything we do”, said Captain Whyte. “Whether that’s crossing the road or driving ships at sea. We need to know where we are, what we’re doing and where we are going.

06 Sep 2018

Ship Strikes Dredging Pipeline in Sabine Pass

Several vessels, including two oil tankers and one carrying liquefied natural gas, were stalled and unable to enter the Sabine Pass shipping channel near the Texas-Louisiana border due to draft restrictions, the U.S. Coast Guard said on Thursday.Port Arthur's Vessel Traffic Service implemented 32-foot restrictions on draft, or vessel depth, on Wednesday, after a 24-inch steel dredge pipeline was struck and pulled out to sea by a ship moving through the Sabine Pass Channel to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said in a notice.As much as 1,000 feet of pipeline is missing, prompting the limits on vessel draft in order that surveys could be carried out to locate the displaced line…

27 Aug 2018

Disabled Freighter Towed into New York Harbor

Photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Steven Strohmaier

The U.S. Coast Guard coordinated the tow of a disabled 611-foot freighter into the port of New York and New Jersey after it lost propulsion over 100 miles offshore in the Atlantic Ocean on Tuesday, August 21.At around 9 p.m. on Tuesday, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New York received a report that the Panama-flagged bulk carrier GDF Suez North Sea with 21 crew aboard, was disabled. The Coast Guard monitored the situation over the following days as the crew attempted to repair the propulsion system.By Thursday night…

06 Mar 2018

Coast Guard, NOAA to Include Navigation Rules in U.S. Coast Pilot

The U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have teamed up on a consolidated publication that will help mariners save time and money. The Coast Guard Office of Navigation Systems and NOAA Office of Coast Survey will incorporate the amalgamated International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (72 COLREGS) and the Inland Navigation Rules into NOAA’s U.S. Coast Pilot publications. The U.S. Coast Pilot publications already include the Coast Guard’s Vessel Traffic Service regulations.

11 Oct 2017

Saab's Maritime Solution Protecting Great Barrier Reef

Photo: Saab AB

As one of the wonders of the natural world, many consider the Great Barrier Reef one of the Earth’s most beautiful places. The marine environment in the area is extremely sensitive and with around 4000 commercial vessels passing every year, it is important for the vessel services operators working onshore to keep track of the traffic at all times. That’s where Saab comes in. Comprising nearly 3000 individual reefs and almost 100 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system.

02 Aug 2017

Oil Spill Response: SCOPE 2017

(Image: SCOPE)

Later this year a major oil and chemical protection exercise dubbed SCOPE 2017 will be carried out in Norway. A joint project including major European and Scandinavian stakeholders, the simulated response to a combined oil and chemical spill aims to foster clearer communication and coordination of spill response across agencies and physical country boundaries. Stig Wahlstrøm, Project Manager SCOPE 2017, Norwegian Coastal Administration and Johan Marius Ly, Director, Department for Emergency Response, explain.

15 Jun 2017

A Legal Approach to Marine Casualty Response

© mscornelius / Adobe Stock

Maritime attorney David Russo provides a valuable primer for maritime stakeholders faced with a marine casualty. Because it isn’t a question of if, it is a question of when. Will you be ready? When there is a marine incident, the vessel owner/operator has two risks of exposure: to both civil and criminal liability. These risks can arise from a number of variables, including but not limited to (a.) a pollution event, (b.) a death or injury, (c.) unseaworthy vessels (including inadequate crew or procedures)…

17 Apr 2017

Lines in the Water

Photo: Carlos Rivera / U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

There are a variety of jurisdictional lines in the water. The first line to be considered is the national boundary between two adjacent or nearby countries. Adjacent countries tend to draw agreed boundaries extending their shoreside boundaries, with accommodations for headlands, capes, etc. Most national boundaries have been agreed upon long ago. A few, though, are not officially resolved. Somewhat surprisingly, of the four marine boundaries between Canada and the U.S., three are still in dispute.

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