SINGAPORE - Search and rescue efforts to locate the remaining three missing crew members of Dominican-registered dredger JBB De Rong 19 are still ongoing, said the Maritime and Port Authorities (MPA) on Thursday (Sept 14).
In a statement sent just after 6pm, the MPA said it continues to lead the search and rescue operations with support from relevant Singapore agencies.
JBB De Rong 19 was involved in an accident with Indonesian-registered tanker Kartika Segara at 12.40am on Wednesday (Sept 13), about 1.7 nautical miles south-west of Sisters' Islands, in the westbound lane in the Singapore Strait. The bodies of two crew members have since been found.
Since the accident, the total surface search area was expanded to 250 sq km from 130 sq km. The aerial search area has also expanded to 2,701 sq km from 770 sq km.
The search efforts are supported by assets from various Singapore agencies, including five aircraft from the Republic of Singapore Air Force, 21 vessels from MPA, the Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Police Coast Guard and Singapore Civil Defence Force; and eight vessels from PSA Marine and offshore marine services firm Posh Semco.
To date, about 280 personnel have been involved in the operations.
The Indonesian Rescue Coordination Centre has also offered 10 vessels to aid the search in Indonesian territorial waters.
A total of 12 crew members were on board the dredger. Seven were rescued and taken to Singapore General Hospital (SGH). One person remains hospitalised, while the rest have been discharged. The 26 Indonesian crew members on board the Kartika Segara were unscathed.
Mr Sitoh Yih Pin, the chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Transport said the accident will be the subject of a thorough investigation by the MPA and affected parties. He added that once reasons for the collision are ascertained, "we must take steps to put in place all possible remedial measures to mitigate such accidents from reoccuring".
He said: "My heartfelt and deepest condolences to the families of the crew members who died as a result of the collision. I also hope that search and rescue efforts will succeed in finding the crew members still missing."