40462002This year, the operations of the Finnish Transport Agency’s Vessel Traffic Services were awarded the Sea Sunday safety prize. Over the years the VTS centres of the Finnish Transport Agency have made a great effort to promote smooth and efficient vessel traffic and maritime safety. The prize was awarded on 3 September 2015 by Anne Berner, Minister of Transport and Communications.

– For example, at the beginning of June, the Gulf of Finland Vessel Traffic Centre managed to help a large cargo vessel avoid a possible grounding in the Gulf of Finland. Similarly, the Western Finland Vessel Traffic Centre prevented the grounding of another cargo vessel in the southern archipelago of Turunmaa, says Thomas Erlund, Head of the Finnish Transport Agency’s Vessel Traffic Services.

Thanks to the intervention by the VTS centres, both vessels were able to change their courses towards safer waters.
– It is a great honour to accept the most distinguished safety award in Finland. I accept this award on behalf of all my colleagues, who through their tenacious and consistent work, take responsibility for maritime safety every day of the year, says Erlund.

The purpose of VTS is to improve the safety and efficiency of navigation, prevent marine accidents and protect the marine environment from possible adverse effects of maritime traffic.

The Sea Sunday safety prize is an award for merit founded in 1996 by the maritime authorities and both professional and recreational maritime organisations. The criteria for choosing recipients can relate to a concrete action, an idea, an attitude, a development project or some other merit related to maritime safety. The prize can be awarded to a person, a vessel crew, a shipping company, an authority or an organisation. The award trophy is the bronze sculpture Ruorimies (the Helmsman) byEmil Cedercreutz.

Original source: Finish Transport Safety Agency