Transport safety bureau probing warship collision

Singapore's Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) has launched a marine safety investigation into the collision of the USS John S. McCain warship with an oil tanker, and will publish its findings when investigations are complete.

In a statement yesterday, the TSIB said it has already started working with investigators from the US Coast Guard and Liberian Maritime Administration (LBA) in interviewing the crew of the Liberian-flagged tanker, Alnic MC.

The investigation started immediately after the collision in Singapore waters on Aug 21, a TSIB spokesman said. Ten USS John S. McCain sailors were killed and five others injured.

Following the collision, Singapore coordinated a search-and-rescue operation with the United States, Australia, Indonesia and Malaysia covering 5,524 sq km, an area more than seven times the size of Singapore. The operation also involved more than 300 personnel from several agencies, including the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Coast Guard and the Singapore Civil Defence Force.

The TSIB, which was formed in August last year as the air and marine accidents and incidents investigation authority, said that it is conducting the investigation in accordance with the International Maritime Organisation's Casualty Investigation Code, in Singapore's capacity as a coastal state.

As "substantially interested states", the US Coast Guard - acting on behalf of the US National Transportation Safety Board - and the LBA are also participating in Singapore's safety investigation.

The TSIB has been working with the US Coast Guard to gather information about the USS John S. McCain warship, including statements from the crew. It has also obtained shipboard data from Alnic MC and other ships in the area during the time of the collision.

Yuen Sin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2017, with the headline 'Transport safety bureau probing warship collision'. Print Edition | Subscribe