Coast Guard Sector San Francisco

 

VCRP Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

This document is a collection of questions about VCRP. If your question isn't answered here, please click the link below to submit a question. Your question might be added to the list of frequently asked questions.

Click to ask VTS a question about VCRP.

VCRP FAQ List

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Yes. All regulations are in effect during VCRP. Mariners must comply with safety zones, security zones, and navigation safety/traffic management regulated navigation areas regulations. VTS might implement additional navigation safety requirements such as one-way traffic areas or speed limits.

These are some of the RNA regulations to consider.

§165.1181

San Francisco Bay Region, California—regulated navigation area.

§165.1182

Safety/Security Zone: San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, Carquinez Strait, and Suisun Bay, CA.

§165.1183

Security Zones; tankers, cruise ships, and High Value Assets, San Francisco Bay and Delta Ports, Monterey Bay and Humboldt Bay, California

§165.1184

Safety Zone; Coast Guard Use of Force Training Exercises, San Pablo Bay, CA.

§165.1185

Regulated Navigation Area; San Francisco Bay, San Pablo Bay, Carquinez Strait, Suisun Bay, Sacramento River, San Joaquin River, and connecting waters in California.

§165.1187

Security Zones; Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, San Francisco Bay, California.

§165.1188

Safety Zone; Old Mormon Slough, Stockton California.

§165.1190

Security Zone; San Francisco Bay, Oakland Estuary, Alameda, CA.

§165.1192

Security Zones; Waters surrounding San Francisco International Airport and Oakland International Airport, San Francisco Bay, California.

 

VTS San Francisco cannot alert vessels about minimum wake requests during VCRP.

Vessels must know the federal and state regulations pertaining to vessel wake.

Refer to the US Coast Guard Navigation Center webpage for more information on vessel wake regulations.

During VCRP, vessels requesting a minimum wake must alert approaching vessels on their own.

To alert approaching vessels, minimum wake requesters should make radiotelephone reports in the blind, on the VTS designated radiotelephone channel. 

Minimum wake requesters should make a Safety signal broadcast (SSB) as described in 47 USC 80.1109 (b) and (c) - Distress, urgency, and safety communications. Most mariners know the safety signal broadcast as the “SÉCURITÉ call.”

Consider the number and types of vessels typically transiting through the area when deciding how often to make the Safety Signal Broadcast.

Refer to published schedules and routes for commuter ferries and other similar vessels.

Here is an example minimum wake Safety Signal Broadcast. Customize the broadcast to meet your needs.

"SÉCURITÉ, SÉCURITÉ, SÉCURITÉ
ALL STATIONS, ALL STATIONS, ALL STATIONS
THIS IS THE TUG ABC.
 
We are at Oakland 56 with a barge moored alongside the container ship XYZ, bunkering. Request a minimum wake from passing vessels. Concerned vessels contact tug ABC on VHF FM Channel 13."

Marine Event hasn't started: If you're trying to check in with VTS to start your permitted Marine Event, and you can't reach VTS, call the CG Sector San Francisco - Sector Command Center (SCC) by telephone (+1 415 399 3547). If you can't reach the SCC, do not start the event.  

Marine Event is already underway: If, during your permitted Marine Event, you can't reach VTS, contact the SCC for instructions (+1 415 399 3547). If you can't reach the SCC, consider whether or not it's safe to continue the Marine Event. If your Marine Event is in a narrow channel or fairway, along a charted ferry route, or in a Regulated Navigation Area, it might be best to stop the event.

In all cases, refer to the conditions stated on your CG Sector San Francisco Marine Event permit.

Yes. All regulations remain in effect during VCRP. Mariners must pay special attention to requirements described in 33 CFR 161 Subpart B—Vessel Movement Reporting System.  Under VCRP, the Sailing Plan (§161.19), Position Report (§161.20), Deviation from Sailing Plan (§161.18(d)), and Final Report (§161.22) are made in the blind as Navigation Safety Information Broadcasts, on the VTS channel. VTS might implement additional navigation safety requirements such as one-way traffic areas or speed limits.
  1. Self-activate VCRP and start making navigation safety broadcasts in the blind.
  2. Work down the Lost Communications Call Tree and try to reach others.
  3. Listen for instructions from the Coast Guard on the VTS channel and on Channel 16.
  4. Decide if it’s safe to continue with your original Sailing Plan.

The VTS Lost Communications Call Tree lists the parties to try to reach if you can't reach VTS on the VTS VHF radiotelephone channel.

Start with number 1 and work your way down the list.

  1. Call VTS on VHF FM Channel 13. If no answer,

  2. Call VTS on VHF FM Channel 16. If no answer,

  3. Call CG Sector San Francisco on Channel 16. If no answer,

  4. Call the San Francisco Marine Exchange on VHF FM Channel 10.

If it's safe to do so, consider calling VTS or the CG Sector Command Center on the phone.

  • VTS: +1 415 399 7410.

  • CG Sector San Francisco Command Center: +1 415 399 3457.

How will VTS notify mariners to activate VCRP?

Consider these four scenarios.

Scenario 1 - Planned outage

Situation. VTS knows ahead of time of a VTS communications or service outage.

Action. VTS will publish the planned outage in a Notice to Mariners and on the VTS website. VTS will make announcements on the VTS radiotelephone channel. VTS will also try to directly notify the San Francisco Marine Exchange, San Francisco Bar Pilots, Water Emergency Transit Authority, and tugboat companies. VTS will list the expected start and stop time of the outage. VTS might give special VCRP instructions tailored for the outage.

Cause. Such an outage might be for scheduled equipment maintenance.

Scenario 2 - Unplanned, imminent VTS outage:

Situation. VTS predicts an imminent VTS communications or service outage.

Action. VTS will make announcements on VHF FM Channels 14 and 12.

Cause. Such an outage might follow an emergency evacuation order.

Scenario 3 - Sudden VTS outage:

Situation. VTS has a sudden, complete communications or service outage, but the CG Sector San Francisco Command Center (SCC) is unaffected.

Actions. SCC will relay VCRP notifications through Coast Guard Stations, the San Francisco Marine Exchange, San Francisco Bar Pilots, and Water Emergency Transit Authority.

Cause. Such an outage might be due to isolated problems with VTS equipment.

Scenario 4 - Catastrophic CG Sector San Francisco outage

Situation. All of Coast Guard Sector San Francisco is impacted by an outage. Mariners can’t reach any Coast Guard officials by radiotelephone.

Action. VTS might request assistance alerting mariners from the San Francisco Marine Exchange, San Francisco Bar Pilots, Water Emergency Transit Authority, or another port partner.

Cause. Such an outage might be due to a region-wide event such as an earthquake.