Vessel Traffic Service News

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.

13 Apr 2017

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)…

15 Mar 2017

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.

09 Feb 2017

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.

06 Feb 2017

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.

21 Sep 2016

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.

15 Sep 2016

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.

13 Sep 2016

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…

06 Sep 2016

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.

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