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Fintraffic's Vessel Traffic Services prevented 20 hazardous incidents in 2021 – including nine possible groundings

Published on 13.4.2022

In 2021, Fintraffic's Vessel Traffic Services prevented a total of 20 different hazardous vessel traffic incidents and recorded more than 810 other vessel traffic incidents or violations. The last year was a busy one in maritime traffic and vessel traffic was safe throughout the year. This can be seen in the recently published annual report on incidents processed by Fintraffic’s Vessel Traffic Services.

Fintraffic's Vessel Traffic Services ensure the safety and smoothness of maritime traffic on the Finnish coast, in nearby international waters and on the Saimaa deep fairway.

“Fintraffic’s Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Centres ensure the smooth and safe operations of vessel traffic around the clock, every day of the year. In 2021, we prevented 20 potentially hazardous incidents, including nine possible groundings. The situation with all groundings prevented was that a vessel was heading towards shallow waters but changed direction after a contact from a VTS Centre. In addition to the prevented groundings, the VTS Centres assisted two vessels in navigation and prevented near misses from becoming accidents by informing the vessels. Such situations involved, for example, near misses and encounters between two ships, as well as navigating outside the fairway area,” says Sari Talja, Operative Director of Fintraffic’s Vessel Traffic Services.

In addition to the hazardous incidents, more than 810 other vessel traffic incidents were recorded by Fintraffic's VTS Centres. The recorded incidents occurred in Fintraffic's surveillance areas and the statistics show that malfunctions in machinery and technology and violations of the routing system were common.

“In 2021, Vessel Traffic Services intervened proactively about 20,000 times in the movement of vessels, ensuring the safety and smoothness of traffic by informing, instructing and alerting vessels. Last year, for the first time, we were also able to produce more extensive information about the hazardous incidents prevented by VTS Centres by introducing a new analysis method that allows us to investigate the causes and consequences of the incidents more thoroughly and, if necessary, to develop our own operations,” says Kati Westerlund, Quality Manager.

The goal of Fintraffic's Vessel Traffic Services is to ensure the safe and trouble-free operation of foreign trade and Finnish water traffic. We are constantly involved at the core of increasingly digital maritime traffic: in addition to Vessel Traffic Services, we develop maritime traffic information exchange platforms, smart information services and situational pictures. Our objective is to ensure the efficient and real-time flow of data between ships, Finnish ports and, for example, between different port operators. More information about our activities in 2021 can be found in our annual report