A Day on Board with Southampton Patrol/Pilot Boat Spitfire
Thought you guys would be interested to hear what goes on in a days operation for Southampton Patrol VTS. Boat Runs 24/7 Crew 12hr Shifts
In the main VTS office at Dock Head there are 4 operational staff controlling Vts/Radar/VHF/Booking/Pilot Allocation etc.
I was on board the new vessel Spitfire which is a new Safehaven Marine Pilot boat 50. Their Main Role is Patrolling and Pilot Duties.
Pilots are mainly taken out from Fort Blockhouse in Gosport and are placed on board up to 4nm south of the Nab by a different boat.
All ships coming into Southampton over 180m need an escort by the pilot boat to ensure no leisure boats are in the channel and to be in constant communication with the Pilot on board the ship. This can be a stressful job when yachts are sailing in front of the ships trying to keep their position in a Race.
As mentioned in the other recent thread about AIS and VTS call them up and ask about traffic it is much preferable than the boat having to come over and ask you to get out the channel.
Pic 1: Tied up at Cowes Red Jet Terminal
Pic 2: Helm
Pic 3: Nav Station, Radar + AIS Overlay, GPS + AIS Unit, VHF
Pic 4: Tied up at Calshot
Pic 5: Tied up at Calshot