MPA launches new maritime safety council to make local waters smooth sailing

Professor Richard Lim will chair the new 15-member National Maritime Safety at Sea Council.
Professor Richard Lim will chair the new 15-member National Maritime Safety at Sea Council.PHOTO: MPA

SINGAPORE - A new council to promote maritime safety was launched by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Monday.

The council was established following a maritime safety review launched by the MPA in the wake of four maritime incidents in local waters last year. These include three ship collisions that caused oil spills and the sinking of a Singapore-licensed motorised sampan.

Called the National Maritime Safety at Sea Council (NMSSC), it will help enhance the standards of navigational and on-board safety for vessels in local waters.

The council's role is to work with members of the maritime industry in Singapore and overseas to help raise safety standards. It also serves as an advisory body to the MPA.

The 15-member NMSSC is chaired by Professor Richard Lim, the current chairman of ST Logistics and an adjunct professor at Nanyang Technological University's School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The other members of the council include professionals from across the maritime industry.

At the event, MPA's chief executive officer Andrew Tan said that while investigations revealed that the incidents last year were results of human error, they still spell a need to maintain high safety standards at sea.

"But the MPA's efforts make up just one aspect of promoting maritime safety, we also need other stakeholders on board. Therefore, we decided that the best way to do this is to form a national council," Mr Tan said. "There is already the Workplace Safety and Health Council for workers on land, so why not have something for the sea as well?"

At the launch held at Marina South Pier, the MPA also announced a two-year partnership with IBM to develop new analytics-based technologies aimed at improving maritime and port operations here. It also launched this year's edition of its Safety@Sea Week campaign, which promotes increase awareness of safe practices at sea.

Ms Milli Koh, 25, chief officer on board cargo ship APL Phoenix, said the campaign is a welcome move. "The campaign and its posters serve as good reminders about ensuring personal and process safety on board vessels," she said.