Third oil spill from ship collision in 2 weeks

SINGAPORE - A third collision between vessels resulting in an oil spill has occurred, less than two weeks after two similar incidents were reported off Singapore.

Some 80 metric tonnes of bunker fuel poured into the Singapore Strait off Sebarok Island, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

No one was injured in the latest collision, which took place about 10km south of the mainland.

MPA said in its statement that it was told of the collision between the departing Liberia-flagged container ship, Hammonia Thracium, and the Panama-flagged chemical tanker, Zoey, at 3.35pm.

Hammonia Thracium reported one of its bunker tanks being damaged, which resulted in the spill.

Before the accident, MPA's Port Operations Control Centre had alerted Zoey that the container ship was crossing the traffic lane.

Four patrol craft were sent to deal with the spill. Private companies were also activated to help.

MPA said the two vessels are currently in a stable condition outside of Singapore's port limits. Both are being checked.

Port operations remain unaffected and MPA is investigating the cause of the collision.

The two earlier collisions also resulted in fuel oil being spilled into the sea.

The first occurred on Jan 29, when Hong Kong-flagged chemical tanker Lime Galaxy collided with China-flagged container ship Feihe about 2.7km south of Jurong Island, spilling some 280 tonnes of fuel oil which slicked the shores of some southern islands.

The next day, another collision between Panama-flagged container ship NYK Themis and a barge, AZ Fuzhou, occurred at the East Keppel Fairway, about 4km south of Marina South.

The barge was being towed by a tug at the time. One of NYK Themis' bunker tanks was damaged, resulting in another 400 tonnes of fuel oil being spilled.

MPA said last Friday that no new oil patches have been reported from the earlier two collisions.

joycel@sph.com.sg


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