Poland: Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) - What to they do?
In 2021, IMO VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) Guidelines were reviewed and updated after considering various organizational, operational, and technological changes that had taken place since 1997 when the previous version was issued.
Governments around the globe have implemented VTS centers to communicate effectively with ships, quickly respond to developing situations and improve navigational safety.
The VTS centers located in three Polish cities: Gdynia, Szczecin, and Slupsk, are first to greet all vessels calling at Polish ports. The organizational structure of VTS also includes a rescue (SAR) component with command centers in Gdynia and Świnoujście.
The VTS services are legally obliged to report a situation that is a clear breach of the regulations or raises a reasonable suspicion that such a breach has occurred. The attitude of the master himself is equally important. If he is non-cooperative and persistently fails to comply with the recommendations of the VTS duty officer, the likelihood of such a report being issued is close to certainty. It usually also results in a PSC (Port State Control) visit on board immediately after berthing.
It is worth mentioning that, in addition to tools such as radars, AIS receivers, or radio rangefinders (RDF), VTS operators are also equipped with long-range cameras with an effective zoom range of up to 7 nautical miles.
Source: Own elaboration,