MPA: Drop in major incidents in Singapore waters, but safety still important

MPA: Drop in major incidents in Singapore waters, but safety still important
A Cosco container vessel being unloaded at the Singapore Port on 4 August 2010.

SINGAPORE - The number of major incidents in Singapore's waters has fallen over the years but safety standards must be maintained as more vessels are calling here, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said on Thursday.


Get the full story from The Straits Times.

Here is the full statement from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore:

MPA launches campaign to promote a safety-first culture at sea

The Safety@Sea Singapore campaign was launched this morning at Marina South Pier. Led by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the campaign is an industry-wide effort to increase awareness of safe practices and inculcate a safety-first culture at sea.

The Port of Singapore sees over 130,000 vessels calling annually. The size of vessels also increase each year, with annual vessel arrival tonnage hitting a record high of 2.33 billion gross tons in 2013. The number of major incidents over the last few years have remained low, with an average of about 0.012 and 0.016 incidents per 1,000 vessel movements in the port waters and Singapore Strait respectively. There were 13 major incidents in 2011, 8 in 2012, and 6 in 2013.

Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive, MPA said, "Singapore is the world's busiest port in terms of vessel arrival tonnage, and is located along a vital shipping lane and one of the world's busiest waterways. The Safety@Sea Singapore campaign focuses on the human element in marine incidents, we want to safeguard against complacency, raise safety standards, and get everyone in the community to do their part."

The logo of the Safety@Sea Singapore campaign was launched by Mr Tan, together with representatives from the Association of Regional Ferry Operators, Singapore Maritime Employers Federation, Singapore Sailing Federation, Singapore Shipping Association, Singapore Power Boat Association, and PSA Marine. Information kits containing posters, decals and guidebooks were also distributed to members of the harbour craft and shipping community.

As part of the Safety@Sea Singapore campaign, MPA will work with the maritime community on instilling a strong safety culture, enhancing communication and information sharing, and improving the safe passage of vessels.

Companies, vessels, and seafarers that display exemplary safety practices at sea will be recognised. Safety awards will also be presented during the inaugural Safety Awareness Week slated to be held in November 2014.

In addition to the distribution of information kits to promote a safety-first mindset at sea, MPA will conduct industry-wide briefing sessions to share safety best practices. Passenger ferry safety standards will continue to be reinforced, which includes screening of safety videos onboard ferries and passenger terminals.

MPA will develop a safety reporting and suggestion framework which can facilitate the reporting of good practices and near-miss cases. MPA will also explore the establishment of a National Maritime Safety at Sea Council to spearhead the drive for safety at sea and to ensure the sustainability of the safety efforts.

MPA will continue enforcement efforts to ensure the compliance of rules and regulations, with a greater emphasis on navigational and ship board safety. There will also be increased spot checks on vessels to ensure the observance of safety standards and maintenance of safety equipment.

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