Waters around Kusu and St John's Islands free from oil pollution: NEA

Workers clean up the beach at St John's Island on Feb 4, 2014. The waters at the beaches on Kusu and St John's Islands have now been declared free from oil pollution. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Workers clean up the beach at St John's Island on Feb 4, 2014. The waters at the beaches on Kusu and St John's Islands have now been declared free from oil pollution. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

THE waters at the beaches on Kusu and St John's Islands have been declared free from oil pollution, after a month-long operation to clean up oil spills caused by two vessel collisions.

The National Environment Agency said in a statement on Saturday that its checks found the waters in the area has "returned to normal". The beach at St John's Island will be re-opened to the public from Sunday, while Kusu Island's beach was re-opened on Feb 22.

On Jan 29, Hong Kong-flagged chemical tanker Lime Galaxy and China-flagged containership Feihe collided at about 2.7km south of Jurong Island. The next day, another collision occured between Panama-flagged containership NYK Themis and a barge, AZ Fuzhou, at the East Keppel Fairway about 4km south of Marina South.

The collisions caused containerships Feihe and NYK Themis to each spill about 280 tonnes and 400 tonnes of fuel oil respectively. The two beaches were closed and NEA had been working with agencies such as the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) to contain and clean up the bunker fuel oil spilled.

On Feb 11, a third similar vessel collision happened about 10km south of the mainland, also resulting in some 80 metric tonnes of bunker fuel to pour into the Singapore Strait off Sebarok Island, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

For more information and updates on the clean-up operation, visit the NEA website (www.nea.gov.sg), NEA Facebook (www.facebook.com/NEASingapore) or Twitter (@NEAsg).