On January 18, 1971, the tankers Arizona Standard and Oregon Standard collided under the Golden Gate Bridge. The incident received nationwide attention and resulted in two significant maritime related safety initiatives - The Bridge to Bridge Radiotelephone Act, Title 33 USC §1201, and The Ports and Waterways Safety Act of 1972 (PWSA), Title 33 USC §1221. It is from the latter that the Coast Guard draws its authority to construct, maintain and operate VTSs. It also authorizes the Coast Guard to require the carriage of electronic devices necessary for participation in the VTS system. The purpose of the act was to establish good order and predictability on United States waterways by implementing fundamental waterways management practices.
VTS Berwick Bay
VTS Berwick Bay is manned by both active-duty Coast Guard and civilian personnel and is proud to enhance navigation and vessel safety, and to protect the environment in the vitally important Atchafalaya National Heritage area. VTS may issue advisories or respond to vessel requests for information in reported conditions within the VTS area, such as:
- Hazardous conditions or circumstances
- Vessel congestion
- Traffic density
- Environmental conditions
- Aids to navigation status
- Anticipated vessel encounters
- Another vessel's name, type, position, hazardous vessel operating conditions (if applicable), and intended navigational movements, as reported
- Temporary Measures in effect
- Description of local harbor operations and conditions, such as ferry routes, dredging, etc.
- Anchorage availability
- Other information or circumstances