SINGAPORE - The bodies of two crew members have been recovered, after a collision between a tanker and a dredger took place at 12.40am on Wednesday (Sep 13), the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) said in an update.
The casualties are from the Dominican-registered dredger JBB De Rong 19, managed by Malaysian company LK Global Shipping.
Of its 12 crew members, 11 are Chinese nationals and one is Malaysian.
The Embassy of China in Singapore said in a press release on Wednesday night that of the two bodies recovered, one was a Chinese national while the other was Malaysian.
There are three Chinese nationals still missing and seven were sent to the Singapore General Hospital. Six have since been discharged.
The Chinese Embassy added that the remaining hospitalised crew member had suffered chest and head injuries but was now in a stable condition and has been transferred out of the intensive care unit.
The Embassy of China said it has "requested for Singapore to further its efforts in the search, not give up hope, do its best to locate the missing Chinese crew, and to investigate the cause of the incident".
A representative for LK Global Shipping was at SGH but declined comment when approached.
Representatives from the Embassy of China in Singapore were also at the hospital to visit the survivors along with Consul-General Wang Jiarong.
The incident took place in the westbound lane in the Singapore Strait, where the dredger was transiting and the Indonesian-registered tanker Kartika Segara was leaving Singapore to join the eastbound lane.
The 26 Indonesian crew on the tanker were unscathed. However, the ship's right front section was visibly damaged.
The MPA said both vessels had acknowledged "timely navigational information and warnings" provided by Singapore's Vessel Traffic Information System, but did not avoid a collision.
Search and rescue efforts, led by the MPA, for the remaining three crew members are ongoing.
Assets aiding with recovery efforts include two Super Puma helicopters, two Chinook helicopters and one Fokker 50 plane from the Republic of Singapore Air Force; 15 vessels from MPA, the Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force; and seven vessels from PSA Marine and Posh Semco. About 200 personnel are involved in the search and rescue operations.
The Indonesian Rescue Coordination Centre also deployed five vessels to assist with the effort in Indonesian territorial waters.
There have been no reports of an oil spill or disruption to shipping traffic in the Singapore Strait, and the MPA is investigating the incident.
The latest incident comes just after a United States warship, the USS John S. McCain, collided with an oil tanker, Alnic MC, in Singapore waters off Pedra Branca on Aug 21. Ten US sailors were killed and five others were injured in that incident.
The Singapore Strait is one of the world's busiest seas where vessels are sometimes separated by under a nautical mile, or about 1.8km.