• 2018 March 12 17:34

    Finnish Transport Agency’s Vessel Traffic Services prevented 12 groundings last year

    The Finnish merchant shipping lanes are narrow, busy and full of shoals. Despite the many dangerous spots, serious accidents occur infrequently. This is thanks to the Finnish Transport Agency’s Vessel Traffic Services, which prevented 12 groundings last year.

    In merchant shipping, it is unusual that vessels deviate from the fairway area, says the Finnish Transport Agency. For example, last year, VTS operators had to intervene in only 19 such cases. In most of these cases, a deviation would probably have led to the vessel running aground, had the vessel not been advised to change its course.

    “Dangerous situations may occur, for example, when the pilot has left the vessel and the vessel continues on its own. In one case, a vessel was heading towards a shoal while the captain thought that he was steering the opposite course. The reason for this turned out to be a technical fault in the navigation equipment”, says Esa Hurskainen, Deputy Head of the Gulf of Finland Vessel Traffic Centre.

    Hawk’s eyes are required in Vessel Traffic Services, since any serious grounding would not only jeopardise the vessel crew, but nature as well.

    “All freight vessels carry plenty of fuel, not to mention tankers. The grounding of a tanker and the consequent oil spills would be fatal for the Baltic Sea. Dangerous incidents occur each year”, says Hurskainen.

    In Finland, the Finnish Transport Agency is responsible for the three VTS centres, situated in Helsinki, Turku and Lappeenranta. Although accident prevention is one of the most important tasks of the VTS centres, the centres have many other duties as well.

    “Our work mainly consists of ensuring smoother and more efficient vessel traffic by maintaining a situational picture. We monitor, for example, that vessels follow their routes and supervise that vessels comply with the international regulations”, says Hurskainen.

    Not everyone complies with the rules. In such cases, the VTS centres register the offences for continued handling. The most common offences are breach of traffic rules in traffic separation schemes and give-way rules of vessels.

    “This means sort of the same thing as when a speedster with an obligation to give way does not yield for a car approaching from the right. In vessel traffic, there are always certain rules that have to be complied with to ensure smooth and safe vessel traffic”, says Hurskainen.

    Last year, the VTS centres registered 173 offences and 230 deviations. The deviations normally include different engine malfunctions and other technical faults. In 2017, most offences were made by vessels sailing under the Dutch, Antigua and Barbudan, and Panamanian flags.

    The Finnish Transport Agency is responsible for Vessel Traffic Services in Finland. The purpose of the services is to improve the safety and efficiency of navigation, prevent marine accidents and protect the marine environment from possible adverse effects of maritime traffic. The three VTS centres are situated in Helsinki, Turku and Lappeenranta.

2018 March 23

13:58 International organizations join forces in the fisheries sector
13:32 New addition to DNV GL’s Veracity platform promises to raise drilling efficiency by offering digital solution based on data from 80 000 wells
13:02 Wärtsilä to ensure the continuous operations of Hidrovias Group’s pusher tugs in South American rivers
12:35 Diana Shipping announces time charter contract for m/v New Orleans with SwissMarine
12:10 BMT teams with BAE SYSTEMS and CAMMELL LAIRD to deliver additional Type 45 Power Generation
11:49 29 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 22-23
11:30 TechnipFMC and Magma Global to enter into a strategic collaboration agreement for hybrid flexible pipe
10:55 BMT and ARES to deliver a further 9 vessels for the Qatari Coastguard
10:44 Port of Rotterdam Authority invests in Port railway line capacity expansion
10:20 Brent Crude futures price up 0.93% to $69.55, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.09% to $65
09:59 Port of Rotterdam Authority starts construction of Container Exchange Route
09:37 Bunker prices continue surging at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:16 Baltic Dry Index is flat at 1,117 points

2018 March 22

18:18 Global fuel market to remain relatively stable next week, expert says
18:03 Port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) handled 7.25 million tonnes of cargo in 2M'18, up 6% Y-o-Y
17:45 Transas to return all funds received under state support programme in 2016-18
17:12 Germany based firm offers AIS vessel management tracking systems preventing IUU fishing
16:51 Investments of Tuapse Sea Commercial Port in production development totaled RUB 343 million in 2017
16:30 Rolls-Royce completes the £1.3 million MAXCMAS research project
15:59 Nitrogen deposition in the oceans needs further study
15:30 Acta Marine newbuild successfully completed sea trials
14:30 APL starts new India Pakistan Express 2 Service
14:04 RF Transport Ministry defines procedure for approval of widespread minerals production at Russia’s IWWs
13:33 Open simulation platform launches with new partners
13:12 Volga Shipping Company named “Industry Leader” in “Cargo Shipping Company” nomination
12:58 Wärtsilä Seals & Bearings joins the Green Award scheme in support of clean environment
12:48 WMU Board of Governors meets in Turkey
12:25 MAN Diesel & Turbo partners with Hyundai to build new test-engine facility in Ulsan
12:00 Workshop on prevention and control of shipping and port air emissions being developed as part of GloMEEP-IAPH partnership
11:36 19 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 21-22
11:21 Russian Trade and Economic Development Council sign MoU to further strengthen commercial ties with Abu Dhabi Ports
11:14 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
10:53 The Maritime Standard announces a special discount for the 2018 Awards
10:27 Brent Crude futures price up 0.01% to $69.48, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.09% to $65.23
10:05 Ukraine’s water transport carried 1,000 passengers in 2M’18, down 64.7%, Y-o-Y
09:41 Cargo transportation by Ukraine’s water transport grew by 41.2% to 0.3 million tonnes in 2M’18
09:19 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,117 points

2018 March 21

18:29 Wight Shipyard wins second order for fast ferry duo from Mexican ferry operator
18:16 Dorian LPG announces third Japanese financing
18:14 GasLog Partners LP announces acquisition of GasLog Gibraltar for $207 million and repayment of intercompany loan
18:04 ABP South Wales achieves new ISO 9001:2016 standard for bulk handling operations
17:42 Port of Gdansk to breathe new life into Dworzec Drzewny Quay
17:20 ABB wins contract to equip two next-generation shuttle tankers with future-proof solutions
17:13 Finnlines decides to exercise the options to lengthen two more ro-ro vessels
17:03 Throughput of Chinese ports up 4.7% to 1.45 billion tonnes in 2M’18
16:39 Pavel Bezmaternykh elected as Director of Eastern-Siberian Inland Navigation Company
16:18 Port of Gdansk overhauls its quays
16:00 Novikombank provides a $100 million loan to STLC
15:47 Huntington Ingalls names two vice presidents
15:21 Gulf Island Fabrication secures contracts for two specialized vessels
15:04 Seatrade Maritime Middle East 2018 to be held in Dubai on 29-31 October as part of UAE Maritime Week
14:42 LUKOIL’s profit in 2017 more than doubled YoY to RUB 418.8 bln
14:23 Wärtsilä and Crowley extend maintenance agreement for 11 articulated tug barges
13:56 IMO launches a video outlining how GMN initiative is uniting MTCCs into a global network
13:29 Ulstein built SOV Acta Auriga completes sea trials
13:11 Dubai will host MARACAD Maritime Innovation Awards on 3 October 2018
13:02 MARACAD 2018 will be held in Dubai on 2-3 October
12:30 17 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on March 20-21
12:09 Port of Quebec to cooperate with Port of Zeebrugge
11:47 Port of Immingham and partners hosted Driving Safety Forward forum