September 13, 2017
Search-and-rescue operations are under way for five missing crew members after a tanker and a boat collided on Wednesday (Sep 13) at about 12.40am, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said.
The collision between Indonesian-registered tanker Kartika Segara and Dominican-registered dredger JBB De Rong 19 took place about 1.7 nautical miles south-west of Sisters’ Islands, the statement said.
The dredger capsized and is currently partially submerged. Of the 12 crew members – 11 Chinese nationals and a Malaysian – on board the dredger, seven were injured while five were unaccounted for. No one from the tanker was hurt.
The seven injured men were rescued by the Singapore Police Coast Guard and taken by ambulance to Singapore General Hospital at 2.45am. Five have since been discharged, a hospital spokesperson confirmed, adding that one remained admitted while the other was under observation.
MPA is leading the search and rescue operations and relevant Singapore agencies are assisting, it said.
— Leong Wai Kit (@LeongWaiKitCNA) September 13, 2017
Two MPA tug boats moved the partially submerged dredger to an area near Pulau Senang for follow-up underwater search operations, while three MPA patrol craft are assisting in the search and rescue.
The Republic of Singapore Navy, Singapore Civil Defence Force and the coast guard have deployed a total of seven vessels for the operation.
A Super Puma helicopter from the Republic of Singapore Air Force began searching from the air at 7am, according to MPA.
“The dredger was transiting the westbound lane while the tanker was departing Singapore joining the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait when the incident occurred,” MPA said. “The Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System had provided navigational information to both vessels prior the collision.
“The tanker reported damage to her starboard bow but is stable and anchored at the Eastern Anchorage. Its 26 Indonesian crew did not sustain any injuries,” the agency added.
There is no disruption to shipping traffic in the Singapore Strait, the statement said.
In a Facebook post on Monday morning, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen reiterated that MPA was leading the search-and-rescue operations for the five crew members.
“I hope the missing seaman can be located,” added Dr Ng.
This collision was not the only incident that occurred in recent times. Ten US sailors died after a collision between US Navy warship USS John S McCain and oil tanker Alnic MC in Singapore waters last month.