Investigation on Batam ferry incident underway: MPA

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has said it is investigating the Batam ferry incident that occurred on Nov 29.

MPA said in a statement on Dec 2, that it is working with the ferry operator, Batamfast, as well as relevant Indonesian authorities in regard to the investigation.

It has also interviewed some of the affected passengers and ferry crew members.

MPA added that ensuring maritime safety is one of its "key priorities" and it has reminded all ferry operators in Singapore of the importance of navigational safety and emergency preparedness.

Nearly 100 passengers aboard the Indonesia-registered ferry, Sea Prince, were reportedly made to disembark after it hit a floating object about 10 minutes into its 45-minute journey from the Nongsapura Ferry Terminal in Batam, according to earlier reports.

One of its passengers, Mr Swagat Banerjee, had told AsiaOne in a phone interview that passengers were made to disembark onto inflatable rafts instead of the two ferries that Batamfast had activated. He added that the whole rescue process took about three hours.

Anyone who wants to provide information on the incident is advised to contact MPA at 6375 6217.

ssandrea@sph.com.sg