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Vessel Traffic Systems Operator

The complexity of modern day shipping and the increasing number of ships on the water calls for precise monitoring and tracking of vessels to ensure that traffic is kept moving and at a safe distance from other water users. To meet these aims, Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) have evolved to improve the safety and efficiency of navigation, the safety of life at sea and the protection of the marine environment.

VTS can act as an aid to navigation, offer pollution control and environment protection, and assist control and co-ordination of life-saving and emergency measures. Some VTS also offer management of cargoes and ship movements. But however good such a system is, it is the VTS Operators, with their knowledge, skill and experience, which drive a successful VTS system.

In the past, VTS operators have in the main been made up of ex-seafarers, but with demand increasing and a lack of seafarers to take on these roles, this career is also open to candidates with little or no maritime experience, after completion of specialist training. Good VTS operators will understand the complexities of marine radar, be able to operate communications, and be well versed in shipping procedures and legislation.