Marine Link
Sunday, June 24, 2018

Vessel Traffic Service News

MCA and Norcontrol Collaborate

The U.K. Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Norcontrol IT have entered into an agreement to collaborate in the training of coastal Vessel Traffic Service operators around the world. “We’re excited about this agreement,” says Steve Guest, the General Manager of Norcontrol IT UK. “We are always looking for new and innovative ways of providing choice and a value added service to our customers and this agreement provides a foundation in the area of operator training,” comments Guest. believe in providing customers with a choice and have always offered this in terms of the technical solution provided.

Puget Sound Increases VTS Participation Requirements

The USCG Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) issued a Notice

70th Anniversary of First Type-approved Maritime Radar

Photo: Kelvin Hughes

Kelvin Hughes is celebrating 70 years of radar in 2017. In 1947 the first Type 1 radar was produced and installed on a new fishing trawler, the Type 1 then went on to be the first type approved radar, gaining its type approval certificate on August 11, 1948, the first radar to do so. Kelvin Hughes, a  maritime navigation and security surveillance radar, has a history stretching back over 250 years. Over the course of that period, the company has been responsible for a number of significant technology ‘firsts’, including the first navigation radar for commercial ships to be type-approved.

Australia’s New Ship Simulation Center Opened

HR Wallingford’s Australia Ship Simulation Centre in Fremantle boasts state-of-the-art ship and tug simulators (Photo: Wallingford)

A new specialist Ship Simulation Center, based in Atwell Arcade, Fremantle, was officially opened on Thursday, February 9, 2017 by City of Fremantle Mayor Dr. Brad Pettitt. The Australia Ship Simulation Center, owned and operated by HR Wallingford, has moved into new premises from where it will continue to provide expert navigation consultancy and a dedicated pilot training center for Western Australia and the wider region. HR Wallingford UK’s Chief Executive, Dr. Bruce Tomlinson and Dr.

Fog Closes Houston Ship Channel Overnight

According to a Bloomberg report, Houston Ship Channel pilots halted boarding inbound and outbound vessels overnight after fog reduced visibility on the approach to the largest U.S. petroleum port, citing the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service. About 12 ships were waiting to enter the port as of 6 a.m. local time after pilots suspended boardings at 8:30 p.m. yesterday, Levi Campbell, a watch supervisor with the service, said in an interview. Some 14 ships were waiting to leave Houston.

Green Signal for India-Bangladesh MoU on Aids to Navigation

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina. Photo: Press Information Bureau

The Indian Cabinet has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for greater cooperation with regard to marine aids to navigation that includes advice on lighthouses and beacons besides vessel traffic service. "The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Aids to Navigation (AtoNs) between the Directorate General of Lighthouses & Lightships (DGLL), Ministry of Shipping, Government of India and the Department of Shipping, Government of Bangladesh," the Ministry of Shipping said in a statement.

High-tech VTS System to Guide Iron Ore Giants

John Sugarman (Photo: Australian Maritime Systems Group)

One of Australia’s most important economic gateways will soon house a state-of-the-art shipping management control system to be installed at Port Hedland, the world’s largest bulk export port. The system includes a command and control system integrated with advanced radar, long-range closed circuit TV and voice radio technology to safely manage and guide thousands of ship movements in and out of the tidally constrained port with pinpoint precision. The Vessel Traffic Service (VTS)…

Quick Action of Towing Company Averts Threat

On January 3, the Tug Pacific Avenger, while towing an oil barge loaded with diesel fuel, experienced a reduction in steering while approximately 20 miles west of Cape Alava, Washington. As per established procedure, Tofino Traffic, Canada, who, as part of the Cooperative Vessel Traffic Service manages vessel traffic of the northern Washington Coast, notified the U.S. Coast Guard of the incident. Sea Coast Towing, the owner of the tug, reported that the Pacific Avenger had experienced a problem with its autopilot and rudder angle indicator – a device that shows the position of the rudder. Although propulsion and manual steering were not affected, Sea Coast Towing arranged for a tug escort by the Barbara Foss and return to port as a precaution.

Mississippi River Opens Again: Safety Restrictions Apply

Coastguard D8 Logo

The Coast Guard has re-opened the Mississippi River above Head of Passes following clusure occasioned by a sunken tugboat. Survey operations are ongoing in an effort to locate the sunken 48-foot tug boat C-Pec between mile marker eight and Head of Passes. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service Lower Mississippi River will continue to implement vessel traffic management measures to ensure safe navigation. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers completed two survey passes from mile marker eight to mile marker zero above Head of Passes with no navigation hazards identified.

East Coast: Delaware Bay: A Private Vessel Traffic & Information Service

The Pilots' Association for the Bay and River Delaware operates one of the few private vessel traffic and information services (VTIS) in the world. The approach to the Delaware Bay consists of three traffic separation schemes (TSS), and an unofficial offshore anchorage. The bottom's natural contours allow vessels with drafts up to 55 ft. to enter the Bay. The dredged channel leading to the ports of Wilmington and Philadelphia can handle ships with drafts up to 40 ft. Overall, the navigable channels continue upriver for over 100 miles. The port ranks seventh in the nation in terms of ship arrivals, and is the number one tanker port on the East Coast. Oil refineries, heavy industry, recreational interests, and wildlife sanctuaries share the coastline.

Transas VTS Chosen for Offshore Wind Farm Project

The German aids-to-navigation-service, WSD Nord-West/WSA Emden, has decided to install Transas shore-based Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) technology on board the first research platform for planned Offshore Wind Farms. The VTS technology will enable the authorities to survey and assess the navigational traffic density in the German North Sea. The contract has been awarded to Transas Europe GmbH, the Transas Group representative in Western Europe. Financed by the Federal Ministry for the Environment…

Summer Wind, Miss Susan Tow Collision Report

This is a synopsis from the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) report and does not include the Board’s rationale for the conclusions, probable cause, and safety recommendations. NTSB staff is currently making final revisions to the report from which the attached conclusions and safety recommendations have been extracted. The final report and pertinent safety recommendation letters will be distributed to recommendation recipients as soon as possible. to further review and editing. Houston Ship Channel, Lower Galveston Bay, Texas. The visibility was restricted at the time due to fog. The bulk carrier was inbound to Houston, traveling in a north direction. The tow was bound for Port Bolivar on the east side of the Houston Ship Channel, traveling in an east direction.

Traffic Continues Transits in Calcasieu Channel

In the Calcasieu Ship Channel, six vessels transited safely into the port and three are expected to transit outbound. The temporary Vessel Traffic Service staffed by Coast Guard personnel and industry stakeholders will control these movements. Contingency operational plans have been devised, as well as equipment and temporary dams placed in at risks areas, in the event of heavy rainfall in the area to counter any problems that may arise from such an event. All commercial docks have been cleared by the Coast Guard to receive vessels. “We’ve made outstanding progress the past few days in getting commercial traffic moving in the Intracostal Waterway and the Calcasieu Ship Channel,” said Coast Guard Captain Thomas Sparks, Captain of the Port of Lake Charles.

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.

Coast Guard Persues Hoax Distress Caller

The Coast Guard continues to investigate a probable hoax distress call that was received June 11, 2012, alleging a yacht explosion off Sandy Hook, N.J. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service New York received the distress call at approximately 4:20 p.m., reportedly from the master of the yacht Blind Date, stating the vessel suffered an explosion with 21 people aboard. A massive, multi-agency search took place 17 nautical miles east of Sandy Hook, and involved two Coast Guard boat crews, four Coast Guard aircraft crews, response units from New York City Police Department, Fire Department of New York City, New Jersey State Police, and Nassau County Police Department. Good Samaritan boats also participated in the 5 1/2-hour, 638-square nautical mile search.

New York Anchorage Regulations Proposed

The US Coast Guard proposes to revise its regulations for certain deep draft vessel anchorage areas within the Port of New York and New Jersey (PONYNJ) so as to reduce the maximum duration of stay from 30 days to 96 hours. Requests for extensions beyond 96 hours would be sought from Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) New York. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by December 18. 71 Fed. Reg. 66708 Source: HK Law

Brief VTS Outage in Prince William Sound Coverage

Wednesday the fire alarm in the Electronics Support Detachment Valdez building was triggered indicating a potential fire in the electronics room. The Valdez Fire Department immediately responded to the alarm, cleared the space of any potential danger, and stated the smoke appeared to be due to an electrical short in one of the equipment racks. Coast Guard VHF-FM radio circuits and Vessel Traffic Service remote sensor systems remained operational following the short; however, the Vessel Traffic Center’s visual tracking display was temporarily disabled. Early morning Thursday technicians successfully restored the display and Vessel Traffic Service Prince William Sound was returned to normal operations.

Near Collision, Fishing Vessel & Large Freighter

The Coast Guard is investigating a report of a commercial fishing vessel that crossed in front of the Motor Vessel Bosse, a large commercial freight ship transiting outbound from the Port of Long Beach on Feb. The Marine Exchange of Southern California and Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service, who jointly monitor vessel traffic in San Pedro Bay, were first alerted of the situation by the Motor Vessel Bosse, after the crew was unable to make radio contact with the approaching, unresponsive fishing vessel. Motor Vessel Bosse was within 400 yards of the fishing vessel when it was forced to take evasive action and turned hard to starboard to prevent a collision. The Vessel Traffic Service then actively tracked the fishing vessel into port using radar and other sensors.

Houston Ship Channel Re-opens to Some Vessel Traffic

The Houston Ship Channel re-opened to some vessel traffic on Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Coast Guard said, after an early morning tanker fire prompted closure of the waterway. The U.S. Coast Guard Houston Vessel Traffic Service said it would commence with tow vessel transit outbound from Old River and San Jacinto River. That would be followed by inbound movements, it said. The Houston Ship Channel links the busiest U.S. petrochemical port to the Gulf of Mexico. Four Houston-area refineries were unable to receive crude oil from tankers on Tuesday after a portion of the channel was shut by an early-morning fire aboard an empty tanker. The fire began shortly after midnight CDT (0500 GMT) aboard the 810-foot (247-meter) tanker the Aframax River and was extinguished within a few hours.

NTSB Assesses USCG’s Vessel Traffic Service System

A safety study recently released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) details 14 conclusions and 21 recommendations aimed at further reducing the risk of collisions, allisions and groundings involving vessels operating within U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) areas. The study, “An Assessment of the Effectiveness of the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service System” (NTSB/SS-16/01), focused on the performance of the Coast Guard’s VTS system, currently comprised of 12 VTS centers. NTSB said the need for the study was driven by the investigation of six major commercial vessel accidents since the Coast Guard’s…

Port of Prince Rupert Adds Shore-based Radar

The Port of Prince Rupert has commissioned a new shore-based radar regime designed to safely accommodate the port’s growth in vessel traffic and international trade. Shore-based radar builds on the existing vessel traffic service that provides active vessel monitoring and navigational information to vessels at the Port of Prince Rupert. Transmitting data from three tower sites across the port’s coastal shores, the system provides coverage ranging from the northeast of Haida Gwaii to the Alaskan border. “The addition of radar improves the capability of the port to proactively monitor and manage vessel movement in the harbor,” said Don Krusel, President & CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

New Vessel Traffic Equipment at ABP Southampton

Shipping Minister John Hayes CBE MP (front row, third from left) at ABP Southampton with James Cooper, chief executive at Associated British Ports (front row, far left), Alastair Welch, port director at ABP Southampton port director (back row, far right) with staff at ABP Southampton (Photo: ABP)

Associated British Ports marked the latest in a series of multi-million dollar investments in the port of Southampton by inviting the Rt Hon John Hayes CBE MP to open its brand new vessel traffic service (VTS) operating room, (September 21). The Minister of State at the Department of Transport was in attendance as Britain's leading ports company revealed its $5.2m investment in a new office with state-of-the-art equipment at Ocean Gate, Southampton, which will be manned on a 24/7 basis.

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.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2018 - Green Marine Technology

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