The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has released a training programme to improve navigation safety in the Singapore Strait. It comes at a time when ship collisions have highlighted shortcomings in awareness of navigation safety in ships transiting the busy waterway.
Videotel has produced a three-part training package that includes video and computer-based learning programs. The Safe Passage in the Singapore Strait package is aimed at experienced ship masters and bridge teams to provide them with additional information about navigating these congested shipping lanes.
It was produced jointly by the maritime authorities of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It was independently vetted and endorsed by BIMCO, the International Chamber of Shipping and the National Maritime Safety at Sea Council of Singapore.
The training package includes two full-length videos and an interactive computer-based module. It is being distributed free to shipping companies by the MPA. It will also be sent to subscribers of Videotel’s Videotel On Demand units on ships, via satellite communications and multicast technology.
Safe Passage in the Singapore Strait follows a transit through the traffic separation scheme from east to west and then west to east. It highlights the precautionary areas where crossing traffic is most often encountered. It also highlights the pilot boarding grounds, and the areas of shallow water where strong tidal forces can present a danger to navigation.
The package combines animated charts, AIS recordings of actual voyages, and video footage shot on board various ships during transits in both directions. These were shot during day and night, in fair and in stormy conditions. The multimedia package emphasises the need for detailed voyage planning, good seamanship, and close attention to advice from the Singapore Vessel Traffic Information Service.
It comes after a recent crash in the Singapore Strait resulted in two damaged ships and potential for a serious oil spill in July. Very large crude carrier Dream II collided with container ship MSC Alexandra two nautical miles southeast off Sebarok island. Luckily, there were no reported injuries or pollution. Issues in navigation safety and collision regulations were highlighted last week when an ecdis supplier audited the bridge team on a car carrier for a shipowner.