Singapore port authority launches safety at sea campaign

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has launched a [email protected] Singapore campaign on Thursday to raise awareness of safe practices and inculcate a safety-first culture at sea.

Andrew Tan, chief executive of MPA, said the latest campaign seeks to focus on the human element in marine incidents. In May, the MPA’s Safety Review Committee determined that human error and poor judgement of situations had led to three collisions in Singapore waters between January and February this year.

“The [email protected] Singapore campaign focuses on the human element in marine incidents, we want to safeguard against complacency, raise safety standards, and get everyone in the community to do their part,” Tan said.

In retrospect, there were 13 major incidents in 2011, eight in 2012 and six in 2013. Major incidents over the last few years have remained low, with an average of about 0.012 and 0.016 incidents per 1,000 vessel movements in port waters and Singapore Strait respectively, according to MPA.

The port of Singapore sees over 130,000 vessels calling annually. The size of the vessels also increase each year, with annual vessel arrival tonnage hitting a record high of 2.33bn gross tonnes in 2013.

As part of the [email protected] Singapore campaign, MPA will work with the maritime community on instillaing a strong safety culture, enhancing communication and information sharing, and improving the safe passage of vessels.

MPA will conduct industry-wide briefing sessions to share safety best practices. Safety reporting and suggestion framework will also be developed to facilitate the reporting of good practices and near-miss cases.

The Singapore port authority will also explore the establishment of a National Maritime Safety at Sea Council to spearhead the drive for safety at sea and to ensure the sustainability of the safety efforts.

MPA added that it will continue enforcement efforts to ensure the compliance of rules and regulations, with a greater emphasis on navigational and ship board safety. There will also be increased spot checks on vessels to ensure the observance of safety standards and maintenance of safety equipment.