MPA probes causes of recent collisions in Singapore waters, urges vigilance

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is stepping up efforts to emphasise the importance of vigilance while navigating, in the wake of three vessel collisions in Singapore waters in two weeks.

It will conduct briefings to the shipping community, the first of which will be held this week. It also plans to disseminate circulars to the shipping and harbour craft communities to underline the importance of navigational safety, MPA said on Tuesday.

Besides traffic information, the authority's port operations control centre will also broadcast messages about the importance of safe navigation and vigilance in the Singapore Strait and within port waters.

The authority's moves follow three recent collisions here, all of which resulted in the spillage of oil.

The latest took place on Monday afternoon, when a container ship registered in Liberia collided with a chemical tanker registered in Panama. Two other incidents were reported in end January.

Investigations are ongoing to determine the causes of the collisions and see if there are other systemic issues that need to be addressed.

Said MPA chief executive Andrew Tan: "MPA is gravely concerned about the recent incidents in Singapore's waters ... MPA is committed to ensuring the safety of navigation in our waters and will work closely with our partners in the shipping community to reinforce this."

Mr Patrick Phoon, president of the Singapore Shipping Association, said: "I have full confidence that my members will heed this urgent call to do their utmost to emphasise to their ships' masters and crew members to exercise vigilance at all times."