MPA Chairman Opens International Safety@Sea Conference

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

August 22, 2017

Niam Chiang Meng, Chairman of MPA, delivering his speech at the opening of International Safety@Sea Conference. Photo: MPA

Niam Chiang Meng, Chairman of MPA, delivering his speech at the opening of International Safety@Sea Conference. Photo: MPA

 The International Safety@Sea Conference was officially opened yesterday by Mr Niam Chiang Meng, Chairman of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). 

Organised by MPA as part of Safety@Sea Week, over 250 international maritime professionals convened to share best safety at sea practices.  
This year’s Safety@Sea week will also see the inaugural ‘Community of Practice’ (CoP) Forum which will be held on 23 August 2017. The CoP Forum is a collaborative platform for maritime administrations, Classification Societies, and non-government organisations to share knowledge and best practices on general maritime safety as well as collaborate on promoting safety at sea. For the inaugural forum, 40 participants will be discussing the topic of ferry safety. 
Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “Maritime safety remains a key topic that we cannot ignore. The International Safety@Sea Conference, held for the first time last year, proved to be a useful platform for stakeholders to come together to learn more about the various maritime safety issues. This year, we will convene the first Community of Practice (CoP) where 23 maritime administrations, Classification Societies and NGOs will share best practices on the topic of ferry safety. We hope participants could draw lessons from these sharing sessions to prevent future incidents.” 
At the opening ceremony, Niam announced that to enhance safety, MPA will be rolling out three out of seven modules under the MPA-IBM SAFER project from September 2017. Project SAFER is a collaboration between MPA and IBM to develop and test-bed new analytics-based technologies, aimed at improving maritime and port operations to cater to increasing growth in vessel traffic in Singapore. 
The three modules are Automated Movement Detection, Infringement Analytics and Pilot Boarding Detection. Utilising IBM Traffic Prediction Tool, Project SAFER offers a host of new capabilities for automating and increasing the accuracy of critical tasks that previously relied on human observation, reporting, Very High Frequency (VHF) communication, and data entry. (Please refer to Joint MPA-IBM media release issued on 22 August 2017 for more information.)  
Two keynote speakers spoke at the conference. Rear Admiral John P. Nadeau from the United States Coast Guard spoke on their role in governance for the safety, security, and environmental stewardship of shipping and the marine transportation system. The second speaker, Mr Ick-Soo Mok from Korea Ship Safety Technology Authority presented on the need to pay attention to safety of small and medium-sized ships.  
The conference also saw the first Industry Award given to seven companies to recognise their efforts in Search and Rescue operations and 14 Class A pilot for the Annual Incentive Awards. 
MPA organises the Safety@Sea Week annually to enhance maritime safety by raising safety awareness and instilling a safety-first culture. This year, Safety@Sea Week runs from 21 to 25 August 2017. In addition to the conference and CoP Forum, there are also pre- and post-conference workshops, visit to MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre and a ferry rescue exercise. 
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