Human error the cause of Singapore accidents

The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) conducted investigations to determine the causes of the three collisions resulting in oil spills in the Singapore Port waters and Singapore Strait earlier this year.

MPA also formed a Safety Review Committee (SRC) to review the overall system of navigational safety in Singapore Port waters and Singapore Strait. SRC was comprised of experts from MPA, Ministry of Transport, the local academia and shipping industry. The findings of the investigations showed that human error and poor judgment of the situation were the main causes of the three collisions. There was a lack of situational awareness of the bridge teams, including the pilots, although MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) had provided advisories and warnings of the traffic situation to the bridge teams. The bridge teams also did not make use of all available means at their disposal, such as the Automatic Identification System (AIS), Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA), Radar, and Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) in order to to avoid the collisions.

MPA organised a dialogue session with the shipping community to update them on the investigation findings of the incidents. More than 150 representatives attended the dialogue session, including shipowners, ship managers, ship charterers and shipping agents, who all have direct channels to convey the safety messages to the ship masters and officers.

Mr Patrick Phoon, Chairman of the Safe Navigation and Environment Committee of the Asian Shipowners’ Forum and President of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA),said: “We welcome the efforts taken by MPA and the Safety Review Committee to look at the causes to these incidents holistically”.

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