On entering the area controlled by VTS, all commercial vessels must observe the requirements for reporting at specific points depending on their approach to St Helier. They must also request permission from VTS before entering or leaving the port.
This enables VTS to manage the movement of vessels in and out of St Helier. It also maximises berth availability and ensures good berth management.
All commercial movements are logged with estimated (ETA / ETD) and actual (ATA / ATD) times of arrival and departure. Other relevant information is also logged, such as delays and cancellations.
The arrival and departure information is linked to live online information, enabling all port users, visitors and passengers to view up-to-date information regarding vessel movements within both Gorey and St Helier.
There are a large variety of commercial vessels using the St Helier. Vessels are allocated berths based on their requirements and size.
If there is congestion in the port, priority for berthing is dependant on factors such as tidal restrictions, load type (ie passenger or cargo), or a vessel’s schedule.
Vessels berthing in St Helier must do so with the express permission of the Harbour Master and monitor VHF 14 at all times.
St Helier VTS maintains a two hourly record of tidal and weather observations, detailing the following:
- wind direction and speed
- visibility within the vicinity of the harbour
- heights of high and low water (this enables any deviations from the predicated heights of tide to be documented)
All of this information can be used to compare against predicted conditions and to predict trends for the future. It can also be used to examine past events and look at the influence the tide or weather may have had.
Further information regarding weather observations and forecast can be found on the Jersey Meteorological Office website.