Two vessels collide near Johor, causing oil spill

JOHOR BARU - Two foreign-registered merchant vessels have collided 32 nautical miles off Tompok Utara near Pengerang in Johor, causing an oil spill.

According to the New Straits Times (NST), Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Ayub Rahmat said no crew members were hurt in the incident on Thursday night (Aug 17), which involved the Panama-registered oil and chemical tanker Chemroad Mega and the Marshall Islands-registered Sinica Graeca bulk carrier.

"The vessel KD Pendekar received information on Chemroad Mega colliding with Sinica Graeca vessel on July 17 at 10.30pm," said Datuk  Ayub in a statement on Friday (Aug 18). According to the report, the KD Pendekar is the Royal Malaysian Navy's fast-attack craft.

"Both vessels are now anchored at a location seven nautical miles south-east of Tompok Utara," said Mr Ayub.

He said crew on board both vessels told the authorities that there were no injuries among them. He added that agents for the vessels arrived on Friday to assess the extent of the damage.

The Johor Department of Environment has instructed the owners of both vessels to post a total of RM5 million (S$1.6 million) as a bond, pending completion of the oil-spill cleanup works.

"The two vessels will be detained until the bond is handed over and immediate action is taken for cleanup of the oil spill," said Mr Ayub.

The authorities are determining the extent of the oil spill, which he said was likely flowing northward towards Pulau Tioman.