350 personnel involved in emergency sea exercise held by MPA

PHOTO: Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore

SINGAPORE - More than 350 personnel from 10 agencies and companies were involved in a full deployment exercise organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Friday.

According to a statement by MPA, the annual half-day emergency preparedness exercise codenamed 'FEREX 2015', aims to test the readiness of various agencies to respond to ferry mishaps in Singapore.

The exercise includes deployment of resources at sea for rescue operations, manning of emergency operations centre and landing of casualties and rescued persons.

The scenario involved an outbound regional ferry colliding with an inbound tanker carrying 13 crew. The ferry was carrying 100 passengers from Singapore to Bintan, Indonesia. As a result of the collision, the ferry's hull was damaged and it started to take in water.

Some passengers were injured while some panicked and jumped into the sea, added the statement.

The "incident" was reported to MPA's Marine Safety Control Centre, which in turn activated the Ferry Mishap Contingency Plan. A total of 15 craft were dispatched to conduct search and rescue operations and evacuation of injured passengers.

There were 10 agencies involved in the exercise. These included People’s Association, Singapore Armed Forces and Bintan Resort Ferries Pte Ltd, according to the statement.

MPA's Assistant Chief Executive (Operations) Captain M Segar said: "Safety must never be taken for granted and it is our role, as the national maritime agency to ensure that we are operationally ready for exigencies at sea."

FEREX 2015 was organised in conjunction with Safety@Sea week 2015.