Vessel Traffic Services

Sullom Voe VTS

Sullom Voe Harbour Authority operates a 24hr Port VTS Service from the Port Administration Building at Sella Ness for vessels navigating in the Sullom Voe and Yell Sound Harbour area.

Sullom Voe VTS contributes to the safety of life at sea, improves the safety and efficiency of navigation and supports the protection of the enviroment by mitigating the development of unsafe situations. 

Sullom Voe VTS will:

  • provide timely and relevant information on factors that may influence ship movements and assist on-board decision making. 
  • monitor and manage shipping traffic to ensure the safety and efficiency of ship movements
  • respond to developing unsafe situations

VHF Radio Communications

All vessels entering or leaving the harbour area should contact Sullom Voe VTS on channel 14.

The call-sign for Sullom Voe pilots is ‘Sullom Voe VTS’, who continually monitor:

  • ch 9 tanker pilotage and tug handling.
  • ch 10 port emergency, fire or oil pollution.
  • ch 12 secondary VTS working frequency.
  • ch14 main VTS working frequency.
  • ch 16 Distress.
  • ch 20 secondary VTS working frequency.

Brief local weather forecasts and traffic information are available on request from Sullom Voe VTS.

Control of Traffic

The VTS Operator may direct the movement of any vessel within the Harbour Area.

Overtaking and passing is prohibited in the deep water channel within an area bounded by a line joining Queyfirth Light and the northern extremity of Lamba Island and by a line joining Skaw Taing Light and the front leading light on Gluss Isle.

Entering the Harbour Area

There are two entrances to Yell Sound, the primary Northern route and the South Eastern approach which is considered only suitable for vessels of up to 200 metres in length and a draught of not more than 11.6 metres.
Both the Northern and South Eastern routes merge at the entrance of Sullom Voe; the lead into the Voe is indicated by leading markers located on Fugla Ness.
A minimum under keel clearance of 2 metres should be maintained at all times when navigating within the harbour area.