Vessel Traffic Separation

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.


Non-Participating Vessel
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 throughout.
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.


Arriving Vessels
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 officer.
- 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 following information:


- 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 Vessels


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.
- Destination
- 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 Precautionary Area.


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

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