Harbour pilot dies after falling overboard off S’pore’s Southern Islands

The harbour pilot had fallen overboard while disembarking from a tugboat, MPA said on Saturday night. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A harbour pilot from PSA Marine died on Saturday after he fell overboard in the waters off the Southern Islands.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) Marine Safety Control Centre was alerted at about 2.50am on Saturday that a harbour pilot had fallen overboard while disembarking from a tugboat to board a PSA Marine launch boat, MPA said on Saturday night.

A harbour pilot is a skilled professional who manoeuvres ships through dangerous or congested waters, such as harbours. The pilot was wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident.

The police and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said they were notified of the incident, which took place near Kusu Island, at about 3am.

“MPA, Police Coast Guard and SCDF immediately deployed patrol and emergency response craft to the scene to conduct search and rescue operations,” the MPA statement said. SCDF said it dispatched two marine vessels.

“MPA also activated divers to conduct an underwater search for the missing pilot and issued navigational safety broadcasts to the surrounding vessels to support the search efforts,” the authority added.

The body of the harbour pilot was recovered at about 11.30am on Saturday and taken to the Police Coast Guard’s Brani Base.

The harbour pilot was pronounced dead by an SCDF paramedic.

Investigations are ongoing.

The Straits Times has contacted the Ministry of Manpower for comment.

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