Vessel Traffic Management System
Vessel traffic in the ports of and approaches to Los Angeles
and Long Beach is managed by three entities:
1. Vessel Traffic Service - for the port approaches (25 nm
from Pt. Femin to the Federal Breakwater)
2. Jacobsen Pilot Service - for the Port of Long Beach.
3. Los Angeles Harbour Pilots - for the Port of Angeles
Vessel Traffic Service (VTS)
A VTS is in operation on the approaches to Los Angeles and
Long Beach Harbours. Operated jointly by the U.S. Coast Guard and the
Marine Exchange, the VTS provides information about commercial, other
vessel traffic and navigation safety. Covered vessels are required to
participate in the VTS. The following are considered "Covered
Mandatory Full Participant" vessels:
1. Every power driven vessel of 40 metres (131 ft) or more
in length, while navigating.
2. Commercial vessels 8 metres (26 ft) or more in length
that are towing alongside, astern or by pushing ahead.
3. Every vessel certificated to carry 50 or more
passengers for hire, while engaged in trade, regardless of length of
vessel, or whether under sail or power driven.
Mandatory Passive Participation
1. Every power driven vessel of at least 20 metres but less
than 40 (approximately 65-131 feet) in length.
2. Every vessel of 100 gross tons or more carrying one or
more passengers for hire.
3. Every dredge or floating plant.
If your vessel does not fall into either of the above categories, you
are not required by law to participate with VTS. HOWEVER, you vessel is
still subject to the following:
1. Observing and obeying all International Rules of the Road,
especially Rule 9 (Narrow Channels) and Rule 10 (Traffic Separation
Schemes/Vessel Traffic Services).
2. Encouraged to be a voluntary passive user and observe
VTS measures (advice/information given by the VTS to allcraft in the AOR).
3. All other measures of safe navigation and prudent
semanship while operating in VTS waters.
4. Non-Participating vessels may contact VTS on VHF-FM
Channel 14 to obtain information, seek assistance, or report emergencies.
5. All non-participating craft are encouraged to monitor
VHF-FM Channel 14 at all times while operating in the VTS Area of
Responsibility whereby they may keep track of activities and movements of
all participating vessels.
6. Small vessels and recreational craft are encouraged to
utilise a radar reflector when operating in the VTS AOR.
Notes of Interest
1. The 24 mile outer limit is defined by a 25 mile arc from
Pt. Femin LAT. 33 42.3'N;Long. 118 17.6'W.
2. There is NO SPEED RESTRICTION between
the 25 mile limit and the Precautionary Area. However, ships are
required to be at 12 knots or less upon entering the Precautionary Area and
3. Minimum vessel separation of 1/4 nautical mile
is required in the Precautionary Area.
4. Code of Federal Regulations, 33 CFR 165.1109 identifies
the Regulated Navigation Area within the Precautionary Area.
UPON ENTERING THE 25 MILE OUTER LIMIT Call Vessel Traffic
Centre (VTC, VHF/FM Channel 14, call sign "LA-Long Beach
Traffic") and provide the following information:
- Vessel name/call sign
- Position (Latitude-Longitude) course and speed
- Vessel destination
- State whether taking a pilot or being piloted by master/commanding
- ETA breakwater seabuoy/pilot station.
- Reduce speed to be at 12 knots upon entry to precautionary area
- Advise of any known mechanical difficulty
Upon Entering the Precautionary Area
Call "LA-Long Beach Traffic" and provide the
- Confirm vessel speed at 12 knots or below
- Confirm master is on the bridge.
- Confirm the vessel in hand steering.
- Contact Pilots, VHF-FM Channel 73 (LA) or 12 (LB) as appropriate.
Departing From Inside the Breakwater:
Call "LA-Long Beach Traffic" 15 minutes
prior to departing the breakwater entrance. Breakwater entrances include
Angels Gate (Los Angeles), Queens Gate (Long Beach) and Anaheim Bay, (Naval
Weapons Station Seal Beach). Provide the following information:
- Vessel name/call sign/present location.
- Acknowledge VTS traffic report.
- ETA to 25 nm limit from Point Fermin when practicable.
- Report departure from the Precautionary Area the VTC.
- Report departure from the VTS at 25 nautical mile limit.
Maintain speed at 12 knots or less through the
Departing From Anchorages Outside the Breakwater:
Call VTC, VHF-FM Channel 14, 15 minutes prior to heaving anchor and provide
the following information:
- Vessel name/call sign
- ETA to seabuoy (if inbound) or destination (if outbound)
- Acknowledge VTS traffic report
- Maintain speed at 12 knots or less through Precautionary Area
- Report departure from Precautionary Area to VTC
- If outbound, ETA to 25 nm limit from Point Fermin
- Report departure from VTS 25 nm limit