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MPA: Singapore-registered ship in Baltimore bridge crash passed previous foreign port state inspections

MPA confirmed vessel’s required classification society and statutory certificates covering structural integrity of vessel and functionality of vessel’s equipment were valid at time of the incident.

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MPA: Singapore-registered ship in Baltimore bridge crash passed previous foreign port state inspections

The Singapore-registered container vessel Dali that crashed into the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, underwent and passed previous foreign port state inspections, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore confirmed on Wednesday (27 March). 

The vessel struck the Francis Scott Key bridge in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, on 26 March at about 1.30pm (Singapore Time), causing the bridge to collapse. 

MPA said Dali was flagged with Singapore from October 2016 and is classed by classification society ClassNK. 

Classification societies are generally authorised by a flag administration to monitor compliance to technical standards and the applicable regulations by vessels registered under its flag.

Based on records, MPA confirmed that the vessel’s required classification society and statutory certificates covering the structural integrity of the vessel and functionality of the vessel’s equipment, were valid at the time of the incident.

“The vessel also underwent and passed two separate foreign port state inspections in June and September 2023,” MPA said in its latest statement on the incident.

“In the June 2023 inspection, a faulty monitor gauge for fuel pressure was rectified before the vessel departed the port.”

Dali's next classification and statutory surveys are due in June 2024.

MPA: Singapore-registered ship in Baltimore bridge crash passed previous foreign port state inspections

Part of the collapsed bridge on top of "Dali"

In another statement, MPA said Dali is a 95,000 GT container vessel operating with 22 crew onboard at the time of the incident.

MPA said it was in contact with the US Coast Guard and the ship management company to provide the necessary assistance.

“As the flag state, MPA will provide full cooperation to the US Coast Guard in its investigations. MPA will also be investigating the incident,” it said in a statement. 

MPA also confirmed that it has contacted the United States Coast Guard (USGC) Headquarters and the Office of Marine Safety, National Transportation Safety Board, and offered MPA’s assistance as the flag administration to support the investigations.

“Investigators from the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau and MPA are making their way to Baltimore, Maryland,” it added. 

“The ship management company, Synergy Marine Pte Ltd, reported to MPA that just prior to the incident, the vessel had experienced momentary loss of propulsion. As a result, she was unable to maintain the desired heading and collided with the Francis Scott Key bridge.”

The vessel was reported to have dropped its anchors as part of the vessel’s emergency procedures prior to its impact with the bridge. The vessel was under pilotage at the time of the incident.

The vessel is currently holding onto its position at the site of the collision and is in a stable condition. All 22 crew members are safe and accounted for.

MPA added search and rescue efforts led by US authorities are ongoing.

The US Coast Guard said there were reports of persons in the water following the collapse of the bridge. 

“Response boat crews from Coast Guard Stations Curtis Bay and Annapolis have crews deployed to the incident for active search and rescue,” it said in a statement. 

FBI Evidence Response Team members work at the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore on March 26

FBI Evidence Response Team members work at the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse in Baltimore on March 26

A Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, Coast Guard investigators and pollution responders also responded to the incident. 

Marty Durbin, senior vice president of policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement in response to the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Maryland.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge early this morning.”

“While search and rescue operations for the victims of this terrible incident are the priority, we are working closely with the Maryland State Chamber of Commerce, the Baltimore Chamber of Commerce, as well as other industry and government partners to assess its impact and provide assistance.”

“As a critical thoroughfare for Maryland and the East Coast, this bridge has kept people, businesses, and communities connected.”

“Unfortunately, its prolonged closure will likely disrupt commercial activities and supply chains that rely on the bridge and Port of Baltimore each day. We will support the many individuals, businesses, and communities affected by this incident and help to both identify and implement solutions during this challenging time.”

 

Photo credit: Baltimore County Fire Department / FBI Baltimore
Published: 27 March 2024

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Environment

Malaysia to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will study their demand based on legal provisions available and look into solutions.

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Malaysia: Government to look into demands of Johor fisherman affected by oil spill from Singapore

A Malaysian minister said the government will look into the demands of fishermen in Johor affected by the recent oil spill that spread from Singapore waters, according to several media reports. 

Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability Minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the government will study their demand based on legal provisions available and look into solutions. 

His comments came following the recent oil spill after an allision between a dredger and a stationary bunker tanker in Singapore, which affected several beaches in the southern part of Johor. 

On 21 June, it was reported that the Johor Department of Environment stated it expected minimal pollution impact to the Johor’s coast and waters from the oil spill and that it was not as serious as initially predicted.

In a Facebook post, state health and environment committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said clean-ups began on 21 June at Sungai Rengit and Teluk Rumunia. 

Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima crashed into the bunker vessel causing fuel from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

Last week, MPA said the shipowner of Marine Honour, the stationary Singapore-flagged bunker tanker that was hit by a dredger recently, is liable for costs incurred from the 14 June oil spill.

MPA said tanker Marine Honour has “strict liability”, which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by oil spill from its tanker in Singapore waters.

Related: MPA: Owner of bunker tanker involved in Singapore oil spill is liable for pollution damage
Related: Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister
Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Ling Tian Soon 
Published: 24 June, 202

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Environment

MPA: Owner of bunker tanker involved in Singapore oil spill is liable for pollution damage

MPA said stationary tanker “Marine Honour” has ‘strict liability’ which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by fuel spilling from its cargo tank into Singapore waters.

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MPA: Clean-up ops continue following oil spill in Singapore, affected beaches closed

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore on Thursday (20 June) said the shipowner of Marine Honour, the stationary Singapore-flagged bunker tanker that was hit by a dredger recently, is liable for costs incurred from the 14 June oil spill. 

Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima crashed into the bunker vessel causing fuel from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

In response to media queries, MPA said tanker Marine Honour has “strict liability”, which means it is liable even in the absence of fault, for pollution damage caused by oil spill from its tanker in Singapore waters.

MPA added this falls under the Merchant Shipping (Civil Liability and Compensation for Oil Pollution) Act 1998, which is Singapore’s enactment of the 1992 International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage (1992 CLC).

“The spirit of the ‘polluter pays’ principle simplifies the claims process by having a clear party against which to pursue claims without potential complications of proving fault,” it said in a statement. 

“This includes expenses that Singapore Government agencies are incurring such as clean-up costs at sea and on shore.”

“The owner of the Marine Honour retains the right to take recourse action against third parties for its pollution liability.”

Related: Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister
Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore


Published: 21 June, 2024

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Environment

Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister

‘Investigations are still on-going, but preliminary findings show that the allision on 14 June was caused by the dredger experiencing sudden loss of engine and steering controls,’ says Chee Hong Tat.

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Singapore: Allision between dredger and bunker tanker was not caused by port congestion, says Transport Minister

The allision between Netherlands-registered dredger Vox Maxima and stationary bunker tanker Marine Honour on 14 June was not caused by port congestion, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said on Tuesday (18 June). 

Vox Maxima crashed into a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel Marine Honour on 14 June, causing oil from the bunker vessel’s cargo tank to spill into Singapore waters. 

Chee said some members of the public have asked if this incident was due to congestion in our port waters.

“Investigations are still on-going, but preliminary findings show that the allision on 14 June was caused by the dredger experiencing sudden loss of engine and steering controls,” he said a social media post.

“It is not due to port congestion as our port waters and anchorages are not congested. The earlier reports on delays experienced by container vessels are a separate matter that is due to the bunching of container vessels arriving at PSA.”

Chee added it will take time for Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) to complete the full investigations and progressively clean up the oil spill. 

“We seek the understanding of members of the public and businesses who are affected by this incident. We will do our best to complete the clean up as soon as possible.”

Manifold Times previously reported MPA stating that it saw large increases in container volumes and the “bunching” of container vessel arrivals over the previous months due to supply chain disruptions in upstream locations.

Later, MPA confirmed that since the beginning of 2024, Singapore saw a significant increase in vessel arrivals.

In the first four months of 2024, MPA said the monthly average tonnage of container vessel arrivals reached 72.4 million gross tonnage (GT). This is an increase of more than one million GT per month, compared to the same period last year. 

On 20 June, in a joint statement, authorities said the northern part of the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal (PPT) is cleared of oil slicks following the deployment of the Current Buster, an oil recovery and containment system, since 18 June. 

Thorough cleaning of the oil-stained Berth 36 near the allision area using high-pressure jets is on-going.

PPT was the location of the oil spillage following the 14 June allision between Netherlands-registered dredger VOX MAXIMA and stationary bunker tanker MARINE HONOUR. 

“The deployment of the Current Buster at this upstream location is important to prevent surface oil from flowing westwards towards West Coast Park which is unaffected till date, and also eastward towards downstream locations, including Sentosa beaches, Sentosa Cove, Southern Islands, and Keppel Marina,” authorities, including MPA, said.  

Three Current Buster systems have been deployed. Two systems capable of five tonnes of recovered oil per load are deployed off western affected areas at PPT and Sentosa. The other system capable of 35 tonnes load is deployed off eastern affected areas off East Coast and Changi East as a precaution to recover any oil and prevent further spread. Another 35 tonnes-load Current Buster system will be deployed shortly.

Total length of booms deployed since 14 June is 3400 meters. This is more than the approximate 3100 meters originally planned.

Note: The full statement by Singapore authorities including progress of the shore clean-up effort can be found here

Related: Singapore: Oil spill cleanup after allision between dredger “Vox Maxima” and bunker tanker “Marine Honour”
Related: Singapore sees large increases in container volumes, bunkering activities remain unaffected
Related: MPA reports ‘significant increase’ in vessel arrivals in Singapore

 

Photo credit: Singapore Transport Ministry / Chee Hong Tat
Published: 20 June, 2024

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