5 missing after tanker and dredger collide in Singapore Strait

A Singapore police coast guard boat in the Singapore Strait. Two ships collided near Sisters Island early Wednesday morning. (Photo: AFP)

A tanker and a dredger collided in Singapore waters early Wednesday morning, said the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Five crew members of the dredger are missing and search and rescue operations (SAR) are ongoing.

The Indonesian-registered tanker Kartika Segara and the Dominican-registered dredger JBB De Rong 19 collided about 1.7 nautical miles south-west of Sisters Island, said a statement from MPA on Wednesday (13 September).

“The dredger was transiting the westbound lane while the tanker was departing Singapore joining the eastbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait when the incident occurred. The Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System had provided navigational information to both vessels prior to the collision,” said MPA.

The dredger capsized and is currently partially submerged.

“A total of 12 crew – 11 Chinese nationals and one Malaysian – were onboard the dredger at the time of incident. Seven of the Chinese nationals have been rescued by the Singapore Police Coast Guard (PCG) and transferred to the Singapore General Hospital by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) ambulances for medical treatment. Five crew remain unaccounted for,” said MPA.

According to a Channel NewsAsia report, three of the dredger crew have been discharged from hospital.

Twenty-six Indonesian crew on the tanker did not sustain any injuries.

“Two MPA tug boats have moved the partially submerged dredger safely to an area near Pulau Senang for follow-up underwater search operations,” said MPA. “In addition, MPA has deployed three patrol craft to assist in the SAR operation and the Republic of Singapore Navy, SCDF and PCG have also deployed a total of seven vessels on scene to support the SAR,” added the MPA.

A Super Puma helicopter from the Republic of Singapore Air Force also began an aerial search at 7am on Wednesday, said the MPA.

MPA is investigating the incident.

Shipping traffic in the Singapore Strait has not been disrupted, MPA said.

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