Singapore’s port authority had warned Greek vessel from entering disputed maritime area

Danial Dzulkilfy
A Greece-registered bulk carrier Piraeus collided with Malaysian Marine Department vessel MV Polaris anchored in the Johor new port limits on February 9, 2019. — Picture courtesy of Singapore Police Force

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) today said that it had warned Greece-registered bulk carrier Piraeus, which collided with a Malaysian Marine Department vessel, to stay clear of its port limits yesterday.

MPA in a statement said the Greek vessel had entered its port limits off Tuas at 1.55pm, where it slowed down, changed direction and then collided with Malaysian Marine Department vessel, MV Polaris.

“Upon establishing contact with Piraeus, MPA Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) instructed Piraeus to stay clear of the area.

“At this point, Piraeus reported that prior to contacting MPA POCC, it had collided with Polaris and there was no damage to its vessel. Piraeus informed that the collision occurred when it was making a manoeuvre to get out of the area.

“As the collision incident was not considered a very serious marine casualty incident under the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Marine Casualty Investigation Code, the vessel was allowed to proceed with its journey to Tanjung Pelepas,” MPA said.

MPA added that that were no injuries or oil leakages reported from the incident.

MV Polaris was docked within the new Johor Port limits yesterday when the incident occurred. However, MPA blamed the incident on “unauthorised vessels”, claiming they were present in its so-called waters.

Singapore does not recognise the new port limits announced in October last year, claiming the disputed waters belong to the republic. Instead, it has extended its own port limits over Johor’s.

The tussle over the maritime borders is still left unresolved, even after both the foreign and transport ministers have held bilateral talks since last month.

Instead, both sides agreed to establish a working group jointly headed by Wisma Putra Secretary-General Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob and the Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Foreign Ministry Chee Wee Kion.

Related Articles After crash, Singapore renews demand for Malaysia to exit disputed waters Greek ship, crew detained after collision with Malaysian vessel in Johor waters Greece-registered carrier collides with Marine Dept vessel in Johor new port limits