The Melaka state government on Sunday (4 October) said an oil tanker and a sand carrier have collided in the Tanjung Bruas Port area in what appears to be a fit of “maritime rage”, reports The Star.
The incident occurred on Friday (2 October) witnessed by two skippers onboard smaller boats nearby, as well as seven crew onboard the rammed ship.
In the collision, 47,106 dwt oil tanker MT Strovolos was hit by 3,745 dwt sand carrier MV Ocean Line about 2.4 nautical miles from Tanjung Bruas Port.
Sand carrier MV Oceanline 5001 was reportedly sailing from the Kota Laksamana land reclamation area towards the sand extraction location at the Melaka Port limit, before colliding into the port side of the tanker, which was anchored at the port.
Allegedly, there were four divers conducting repair works on the hull of MT Strovolos when the incident occurred.
Fortunately, there have been no casualties or oil spills, but both vessels have been structurally damaged in the incident.
Melaka agriculture, agro-based, entrepreneur development and cooperative committee chairman Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee said that witnesses have raised doubts as to whether the incident was deliberate, akin to a road rage incident.
“The case is being investigated to ascertain if the collision was triggered by a lack of space for vessels to anchor in the congested port area,” added Datuk Norhizam.
“The outcome of the probe into the incident will guide further action to outline maritime zones in order to ensure the safety of fishermen and marine traffic to nearby ports.
“However, if the act was deliberate, legal action will be taken.”
The area where the collision occurred is known for being congested as the presence of numerous larger vessels often limit the space available for fishermen to ply their trade.
The video for the incident is available for viewing below.