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Friday, May 6, 2011

Puget Sound Vessel Traffic Service

A word of explanation about Vessel Traffic Service Puget Sound (VTSPS).

VTSPS is comprised of three major elements – (a) a vessel movement reporting system (VMRS), (b) a traffic separation scheme (TSS), and (c) surveillance systems, including radar and an automatic identification system (AIS). All power-driven vessels exceeding 40 meters in length, commercial towing vessels exceeding 8 meters in length, and vessels certified to carry 50 or more passengers for hire must participate in the VMRS while navigating in Elliott Bay, using Channel 14 to do so. That’s why we named our blog “Channel 14, Seattle Traffic.”

U.S. Coast Guard regulations require users of Channel 14 to address VTSPS as “Seattle Traffic,” followed by the name of their vessel, and to then provide certain information to VTSPS about their vessel and route. Recreational vessels can maintain a listening watch on Channel 14 but should not transmit on that frequency unless an emergency arises.

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