Safety of Navigation

Following Titanic, the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention was created and has been regularly updated. Under Chapter V (Safety of Navigation), it sets out many guidelines that relate to information management and ensuring that the Master of a Vessel has the necessary information to complete his voyage in safety. SOLAS places responsibility on Contracting Governments relating to the provision of services to the Mariner, including Navigational warnings, Meteorological, Ice Warning, SAR, Ship Routing and Reporting and Vessel Traffic Services (within territorial sea).

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A Vessel Traffic Service needs to be able to ensure that the necessary information is provided to all vessels within the VTS Area. To achieve this task it clearly needs to maintain situational awareness by detecting, tracking and monitoring all maritime traffic to ensure that it can quickly establish communication with any vessel whenever necessary. Clearly automated services are available for the provision of some services but the VTS Centre will be able to provide more detailed information that is relevant to its local area.

VTS Functions

The VTS functions directly affecting the Navigational Safety objective were defined as:
  • Safety of Life at Sea
  • Safety of Navigation
  • Efficiency of Vessel Traffic Movement
  • Supporting Maritime Security
  • Supporting Law Enforcement