(EnergyAsia, July 4 2013, Thursday) — About 100 metric tonnes of bunker fuel spilled into Singapore waters following a collision on Tuesday morning between two vessels about 6.6km southwest off the Tanah Merah ferry terminal.
No one was injured in the collision between a South Korean-registered bulk carrier, Oriental Pioneer, and a Bahamas-registered bulk carrier, Atlantic Hero, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). A total of 11 patrol and anti-pollution craft have been deployed to clean up the spill as oil leaked from one of the Oriental Pioneer’s badly damaged bunker fuel tanks.
While no “significant” patches of oil were sighted in the affected waters, the MPA said oil stains were found yesterday along the rock bunds and sandy shoreline near the ferry terminal. The National Environment Agency is coordinating cleaning efforts along the affected areas.
The MPA said it is co-ordinating the clean up with other government agencies and the owners of the two vessels, now safely anchored in the Eastern Bunkering Anchorages. Traffic flow through the port and the Strait of Singapore has not been affected.
The MPA said that prior to the collision, its Port Operations Control Centre had provided information and issued warnings to the vessels when they were about 1.5 nautical miles (about 2.8km) apart. The ships were also in communication with each other.
Despite surveillance efforts and the use of high-tech equipment, shipping accidents continue to regularly occur in the waters in and around Singapore.