Applicable to: This circular is for the attention of owners, managers, agents and shipmasters of Singapore-registered ships as well as the shipping community.
IMPORTANCE OF SAFE NAVIGATION IN THE SINGAPORE STRAIT AND SINGAPORE WATERS
1. The Singapore Strait and the Port of Singapore are busy waterways where large numbers of ships of different types transit and make port calls. Hence, the safety of navigation in the Singapore Strait and Singapore waters are of utmost importance.
2. Shipmasters and watchkeeping officers when navigating in these waters are reminded to:
a) Be vigilance, maintain a proper look-out and proceed at a safe speed taking into consideration the prevailing traffic and weather conditions;
b) Maintain VHF radio watch and listen for regular traffic information promulgated by the Singapore Vessel Traffic Information Service (VTIS) to ensure safety of navigation. The information, advice, warnings and alerts provided by Singapore VTIS are to assist shipmasters in safe navigation and do not relieve shipmasters from their duties and responsibilities of the ship;
c) Conduct master/pilot exchange of information and passage plan; and
d) Brief bridge team thoroughly on the intended passage.
3. Vessels have been observed to anchor off the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) and Precautionary Areas in the Singapore Strait. These vessels are not only obstructing port approaches and traffic flow but also pose a risk to the safety of navigation and marine environment.
4. Vessels found to be indiscriminately anchored and in contravention of Rule 10 (g) of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (COLREGs) in the Singapore Strait will be reported to their Flag State. Where submarine cable damage occurs, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore will promptly share information with the cable owner(s) and other interested parties to facilitate legal proceedings to recover compensation from the owners and masters of vessels responsible for the damage.
5. MPA Port Marine Circular no. 3 of 2017, dated 19 Jan 2017 provides further information on the prohibition of anchoring in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
6. Shipmasters and watchkeeping officers of all vessels are reminded to fully comply, at all times, with the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972. Failure to observe these regulations may result in accidents, and the responsible parties may also be prosecuted under the Merchant Shipping Act, the Maritime and
Port Authority of Singapore Act, and/or the Penal Code.
7. Shipowners, managers and agents are requested to bring the contents of this circular to the attention of shipmasters and officers.
8. This circular supersedes MPA Shipping Circular no. 5 of 2014, dated 13 Feb 2014.
9. Any queries regarding this circular should be addressed to Capt. Khalled Jalil (Tel: 6375 1931) or email to [email protected]