Coast Guard Sector San Francisco


Vessel Traffic Service San Francisco

VTS Continuity Reporting Protocol (VCRP) 

Part 1 - VCRP Explanation and Details


The VTS San Francisco Vessel Continuity Reporting Protocol (VCRP) is a communications contingency plan in case VTS San Francisco can't respond over VHF radio to VTS user vessels' radio calls. With VCRP, vessel operators make all the regular Vessel Movement Reporting System (VMRS) radiotelephone reports in the blind, on the VTS designated radiotelephone channel. 

This document gives important details supporting the VCRP.

Special Terminology

  • Safety signal broadcast (SSB): Refer to 47 USC 80.1109 (b) and (c) - Distress, urgency, and safety communications for the definition of the term safety signal broadcast. Most mariners know the safety signal broadcast as the “SÉCURITÉ call.”
  • Vessel Movement Reporting System User (VMRS User): Refer to 33 CFR 161.16 – Applicability for a list of VMRS user vessels. Most mariners know VMRS users as active VTS participants.


  • VHF FM Channel 14: VCRP reports for vessels in the VTS San Francisco Inshore Sector.
  • VHF FM Channel 12: VCRP reports for vessels in the VTS San Francisco Offshore Sector.
  • VHF FM Channel 13: Vessel-to-vessel communications.

Exempted Vessels

Vessel Movement Reporting System exemptions described in 33 CFR 161.23 – Reporting Exemptions still apply under the VCRP.

Reminder: Exempted vessels DO make Sailing Plan and Sailing Plan Deviation reports.

Safety Signal Broadcast (SSB)

Make the SSB in the blind (no expectation for vessels to answer, unless necessary).

There are two section to the Safety Signal Broadcast.

Section 1 - Preamble: The preamble alerts all vessels that important navigation safety information follows. The preamble (three lines of italic text below) precedes the navigation safety information details (your Sailing Plan, Position report, etc.) in every SSB.

State these words (three lines of italic text below) before reporting details.

THIS IS [state the pilot designator and vessel name]
Section 2 - Navigation safety information: Make the VCRP navigating safety information report, without a break, immediately following the preamble. 

[Next] Part 2 - VCRP Procedures