18 April, 2009


QHM Plymouth

Dockyard Port of Plymouth  - Vessel Traffic Service (VTS)

QHM manages for the greater Port, the Plymouth Vessel Traffic Service (VTS). Recently benefiting from an investment of £1.7m, its role is to offer traffic organisation and navigational assistance within its area of jurisdiction, co-ordinating shipping movements with berth allocation and the availability of other services, including pilotage, with which there is continuous contact.
The port hosts 2 Port Control Stations (PCS), Flag Port Control Station (Flag), which oversees movements and operations in the Hamoaze, and the Longroom Port Control Station (Longroom) which manages the moves into and out of the port, and the Sound.  Recently refurbished, Longroom is manned at all times by a VTS Supervisor (VTSS), a Port Control Assistant (PCA), and a Royal Naval Communicator (RNCSR): the PCA manages civil moves, the RNCSR the military moves. The VTSS carries the authority of QHM and is authorised to act as statutory harbourmaster for the purposes of issuing a Direction to a ship’s master.  He is supported by a duty officer, QHM or his Deputy, DQHM.

The service is based on four radar sites, with an integrated VHF radio system and CCTV network. The Port Control Stations have their own emergency power supply for vital equipment and systems; should there be a system failure in either PCS, the other can assume the duties of both.

The VTS is part of the wider Vessel Traffic Management and Information Service which is the heart of the Port’s day-to-day activities. Harbour control activities include keeping radar and radio watch and co-ordinating shipping movements; this management of vessel traffic involves the transit of vessels ranging from nuclear powered submarines, civil tankers, continental ferries, cruise ships and coasters – all of which transit a relatively narrow and constraining tidal channel before they manoeuvre into berths.

Longroom also incorporates a separate Incident Control Room, which is equipped to deal with any maritime emergency.

info More Information: Bunkering

info More Information: Dangerous Goods

info Downloadable File: VHF Channels (PDF)

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