Human Error at the Root of Singapore Oil Spills

By Eric Haun
Friday, May 30, 2014
Capt. M Segar, Assistant Chief Executive (Operations) MPA, speaking to the shipping community at the dialogue session

Outcome of Investigation Findings into Marine Incidents and Measures to Enhance Safety of Navigation in Singapore Port Waters and Singapore Strait

Following the three collision incidents[1] resulting in oil spills which took place in the Singapore port waters and Singapore Strait between January 29 and February 10 early this year, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) conducted investigations to determine the causes of the incidents. MPA also formed a Safety Review Committee (SRC) to review the overall system of navigational safety in Singapore's port waters and Singapore Strait. Members comprised experts from MPA, Ministry of Transport, the local academia and shipping industry.

Key Findings
The findings of the investigations showed that human error and poor judgment of the situation was the main cause of the three collisions. There was lack of situational awareness of the bridge teams, including the pilots, although MPA's Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) had provided advisories and warnings of the traffic situation to the bridge teams. The bridge teams also did not make use of all available means at their disposal, such as the Automatic Identification System (AIS), Automatic Radar Plotting Aid (ARPA), Radar, and Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) to avoid the collisions. Appropriate disciplinary actions will be taken against the members of the bridge teams, including the pilots, for contravening the relevant regulations.

The SRC also reviewed the overall regime of navigational safety in Singapore's port limits. The SRC found no significant increase in the number of incidents between 2007 and 2013, nor was there apparent correlation in the occurrence of incidents and growth in vessel movements in the Singapore Strait or port waters. The number of incidents over the last few years remained low and averaged about 0.012 and 0.016 per 1,000 vessel movements in the port waters and Singapore Strait respectively. The existing systems and procedures put in place by MPA have helped to keep the incident rates low.

Key Follow Ups
Notwithstanding, the SRC recommended adopting the following key measures to further enhance the safety of navigation in the port and in the Singapore Strait:

i. Instilling a strong safety culture
MPA should work with the industry to develop an integrated safety management framework to drive the overall efforts to promote a strong culture of safety awareness, including the conduct of regular safety briefings to the shipping community.

ii. Enhancing communication and information sharing
PSA Marine should enhance the information sharing between pilots and ship masters, including the timely dissemination of passage plan to the ships. There should also be procedures for its pilots to follow when communications failure occurs between the pilots on converging ships, or between the Vessel Traffic Information System (VTIS) and their ships.

iii. Improving safe passage in high risk areas
MPA's VTIS should consider providing more active advisories to vessels navigating at high traffic density areas in the port of Singapore and in the Singapore Strait. MPA should also work with the shipping community to ensure ship masters are present on the bridge when their ships are transiting critical areas in the Singapore Strait.

To implement the above measures and ensure efforts are sustained, MPA will form two working groups:

i.The MPA-PSA Marine Safety of Navigation Working Group.
ii.The MPA-SSA (Singapore Shipping Association) Safety of Navigation Working Group.

MPA will also be shortly launching a Safety Campaign with the shipping community to raise the level of awareness on navigational safety. It will also review and improve navigational safety in critical areas such as key fairways and pilot boarding grounds.

Shipping Community Briefed at the Navigational Safety Dialogue Session
MPA organized a dialogue session this morning with the shipping community to update them on the investigation findings of the incidents, and measures to enhance the safety of navigation in the Singapore Strait and Singapore's port waters. More than 150 representatives from the shipping community attended the dialogue session, including shipowners, ship managers, ship charterers and shipping agents, who have direct channels to convey the safety messages to the ship masters and officers.

MPA Chief Executive, Andrew Tan said, "MPA places a strong emphasis on the safety of navigation and takes a serious view of any incidents in Singapore waters. Moving forward, we will work more closely with all our industry partners to review our safety management procedures and implement additional measures to enhance navigational safety. We will also not hesitate to take appropriate actions against those who infringe our safety regulations."

Patrick Phoon, Chairman of the Safe Navigation and Environment Committee of the Asian Shipowners' Forum and President of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) said, "We welcome the efforts taken by MPA and the Safety Review Committee to look at the causes to these incidents holistically. The SSA will work closely with MPA to implement the recommendations from the Safety Review Committee to enhance navigational safety within our port waters and the Singapore Strait."

[1] The three incidents were:
-January 29, 2014: Between Fei He, a China-flagged containership, and Lime Galaxy, a Hong Kong-flagged chemical tanker.
-January 30, 2014: Between NYK Themis, a Panama-flagged containership and a barge, AZ Fuzhou that was towed by tug "AZ Carnation"
-February 10, 2014: Between a Liberia-flagged containership Hammonia Thracium and Panama-flagged chemical tanker Zoey.

mpa.gov.sg
 

  • More than 150 representatives from the shipping community attended the dialogue session.

    More than 150 representatives from the shipping community attended the dialogue session.

Maritime Reporter July 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Navigation

Pine Galaxy Expected to Arrive in San Francisco Today

The disabled mixed-products tanker Pine Galaxy is expected to arrive in San Francisco Wednesday morning. The ship is being towed by commercial tug to San Francisco Bay.

SevenCs Debuts Aviation Module for ECDIS Kernel

The new 5.18 version of the EC 2007 software development kit (SDK) from SevenCs is available for both Windows and Linux applications, updated to now include support

GPS Satellites Launched, Stray Off Course

Following an announcement made by Arianespace on the anomalies of the orbit injection of the Galileo satellites, the teams of industries and agencies involved in

Environmental

Trojan Marinex BWTS Earns USCG AMS Acceptance

Trojan Marinex ballast water treatment system receives U.S. Coast Guard AMS acceptance for all water qualities Trojan Technologies’ Trojan Marinex ballast water

DNV GL’s Arctic Map Shows Complex Risk Picture

The world’s need for energy is driving interest in further industrial activity in the Arctic, yet the region’s conditions are highly variable depending on the type of activity,

Australian Forces in S. Pacific Disaster Relief Exercise

Almost 200 members of the Australian Navy, Army and Air Force are joining forces with personnel from across the region in a major humanitarian relief exercise in the South Pacific,

News

COSCO Resorts to Rate Restoration for F. East to S Africa Trade

COSCO Container Lines would like to announce Rate Restoration for all shipments (include reefer cargo) from Far East to South Africa Trade and take effect from September 1, 2014.

Anchorage Area Obstruction in Freeport

Brazos Pilots Association in Freeport, Texas, advise that a 600-700' long wire is presenting a hazard to vessels in the north Freeport general anchorage. According to advice from the Association,

Neeraj Bansal Appointed Deputy Chairman of JNPT

The Government of India has appointed Neeraj Bansal as Deputy Chairman of India's largest container port,  Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust with immediate effect. Mr

Maritime Safety

Pariah Containership Banned from Australian Ports

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) informs that it has issued a direction to the container ship 'Vega Auriga' (IMO 9347786) that prohibits the ship

Anchorage Area Obstruction in Freeport

Brazos Pilots Association in Freeport, Texas, advise that a 600-700' long wire is presenting a hazard to vessels in the north Freeport general anchorage. According to advice from the Association,

Pine Galaxy Expected to Arrive in San Francisco Today

The disabled mixed-products tanker Pine Galaxy is expected to arrive in San Francisco Wednesday morning. The ship is being towed by commercial tug to San Francisco Bay.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1871 sec (5 req/sec)