The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has recommended the adoption of new measures to enhance the safety of navigation in the country’s port waters and Singapore Strait.
The measures follow the results of investigations into three collisions that resulted in oil spills early this year.
MPA chief executive Andrew Tan said: "MPA places a strong emphasis on the safety of navigation and takes a serious view of any incidents in Singapore waters."
"Moving forward, we will work more closely with all our industry partners to review our safety management procedures and implement additional measures to enhance navigational safety. We will also not hesitate to take appropriate actions against those who infringe our safety regulations."
Comprising of Ministry of Transport, the local academia and shipping industry, the MPA’s Safety Review Committee (SRC) found that human error and poor judgement of the situation was the main cause of the three collisions.
The findings also showed that the bridge teams failed to make proper use of the automatic identification system (AIS), automatic radar plotting aid (ARPA), radar, and electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS) to avoid the collisions.
The SRC has now recommended that MPA along with the industry develops an integrated safety management framework to enhance information sharing between pilots and ship masters.
Additional proposals include providing more active advisories to vessels navigating in high traffic density areas, regular safety briefings to the shipping community and procedures to follow when failure of communications occur between the pilots on converging ships.
Two working groups will be formed by the MPA, including the MPA-PSA Marine Safety of Navigation Working Group and the MPA-Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) Safety of Navigation Working Group.
These groups will work towards implementing the above measures and to ensure efforts are sustained.
The authority will also launch a safety campaign with the shipping community to raise awareness of, review and improve navigational safety.
Image: MPA (operations) assistant chief executive captain M.Segar speaking to the shipping community at the dialogue session. Photo: courtesy of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.