The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a report that makes recommendations for improving the US Coast Guard’s (USCG’s) Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) System and thereby reducing vessel accidents.
The VTS is a shore-based service that aims to provide active monitoring and navigational advice for vessels in particularly confined and busy US waterways.
It comprises 12 VTS Centres across the country and its mission is to reduce the risk of collisions, allisions and groundings by resolving unsafe traffic situations.
NTSB’s report “An Assessment of the Effectiveness of the US Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service System” found that USCG had no standard method for measuring the safety performance of the 12 centres collectively and consequently there was no standardized public data available for assessing the system’s effectiveness.
It also found that variations in understanding the VTS’s authority led to inconsistent applications of its powers.