Collision of VLCC and Container Ship in the Singapore Strait, off the Sisters Islands Marine Park

MPA Media Statement 4 Aug 16;

Collision of Panama-flagged VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) and Container Ship in the Singapore Strait
No injuries or oil pollution reported

At about 2355 hrs on 3rd Aug 2016, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) was notified of a collision involving Dream II VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) and MSC Alexandra (Container Ship) in the Singapore Strait, about 3 km South-East of Sebarok Island. Both are Panama-flagged vessels.

Prior to the incident, MPA's Port Operations Control Centre provided traffic information and alerted the shipmasters of Dream II and MSC Alexandra of the risk of collision.

Dream II sustained damage to her bow whilst MSC Alexandra sustained damages on her port quarter hull. Both vessels are in stable condition and safely anchored in Singapore.

MSC Alexandra reported that 10 empty containers fell overboard during the incident, 4 onto the deck of Dream II and the rest into the water.

Upon notification, MPA immediately issued navigation broadcast to warn vessels of the presence of floating containers in the vicinity of the incident site. MPA has deployed survey and salvage teams to recover the containers.

There were no injuries or oil pollution reported.

Container carrier MSC Alexandra and VLCC Dream collided in Singapore Strait
SVILEN PETROV Maritime Herald 4 Aug 16;

The very large crude carrier Dream collided with container ship MSC Alexandra in Singapore Strait on 2 nautical miles southeast off Sebarok island. The both vessels were proceeding on crossing routes, as the tanker was proceeding through the separation scheme in western direction, while the container ship MSC Alexandra was entering into the scheme from Singapore. The collision happened due to serious violation of the ColReg rules for vessels running on crossing routes. Following the collision, the crude carrier Dream suffered serious damages of the bow, while the container ship MSC Alexandra suffered damages in the port board. Also a dozen of empty containers fell overboard from the deck of MSC Alexandra. Fortunately there is no report about injuries and water pollution.

The local authorities started investigation for the root cause of the accident. According to preliminary information, responsible for the collision was the duty officer of very large crude carrier Dream, who was neglecting the ColReg rules, as container ship MSC Alexandra was proceeding from the right board and have to be released by the tanker to enter in the separation scheme. On other side, the lack of communication and misunderstanding from the both duty officers was in the root cause of the collision.

The both ships were detained at the anchorage off Singapore and will need of repairs and inspection before return in operations. The VLCC and container carrier are in stable condition without danger for their seaworthiness.

MSC AlexandraThe container ship MSC Alexandra (IMO: 9461374) has overall length of 365.80 m, moulded beam of 52.00 m and maximum draft of 12.00 m. The vessel has deadweight of 165,908 DWT, gross tonnage of 153,115 GRT and capacity to carry 14,000 TEU. The container carrier was built in 2010 by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea. The owner and operator of the vessel is Mediterranean Shipping Company. During the accident the container ship MSC Alexandra was en route from Singapore to Chiwan, China.

The VLCC Dream (IMO: 9356593) had deadweight of 319,999 DWT and gross tonnage of 164,241 GRT. The ship was en route from Beilun, China to Port of Khark, Iran under ballast. The vessel was built in 2008 by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering in South Korea. The owner and operator of the VLCC Dream is Greek company Arcadia Shipmanagement.

Update on Collision of Panama-flagged vessels VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) and Container Ship in the Singapore Strait
MPA media release 7 Aug 16;

Update on Collision of Panama-flagged vessels VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) and Container Ship in the Singapore Strait
All containers in Singapore waters retrieved; Port operations is unaffected

During the incident involving Dream II VLCC and MSC Alexandra (Container Ship) on 3rd August, 10 empty containers fell overboard. Of these, five fell overboard onto the deck of Dream II VLCC and another five fell into the sea. Four of the containers that sank in Singapore waters have all been recovered at 0930 hours on 6th August. The owner’s local Protection & Indemnity club representative of MSC Alexandra is making the necessary arrangement to retrieve the fifth container which sank in Indonesian waters.

MSC Alexandra is currently berthed at PSAC’s Pasir Panjang Terminal to discharge her remaining containers before proceeding to a shipyard to carry out permanent repairs, whilst Dream II is safely anchored in Singapore and is making preparation for repairs.

There were no injuries or oil pollution reported. There is no disruption to shipping traffic in the Singapore Strait and Port operation is also unaffected. MPA is investigating the incident.

Collision highlights big tanker spill risk
Steve Matthews Tanker Shipping 9 Aug 16;

Last week there was a collision in the Singapore Strait involving the National Iranian Tanker Co’s 320,000 dwt very large crude carrier (VLCC) Dream II and the Mediterranean Shipping Co’s 14,000 teu container ship MSC Alexandra. Both ships were damaged but there were no reported injuries or pollution. Five empty containers from the MSC Alexandra fell on to the deck of the tanker and another five empty containers fell into the sea.

It is 37 years since the worst ever tanker oil spill took place in July 1979. It followed a collision between two VLCCs, Atlantic Empress and Aegean Captain in the Caribbean, resulting in the loss of 27 lives and 287,000 tonnes of crude oil being spilled.

Since that low point, spills from oil tankers have consistently and dramatically reduced, both in terms of serious incidents and the total oil spilled. The average number of serious spills per year has declined sharply during a period when marine transport of oil has risen to more than 10 billion tonne miles a year.

It is 20 years since Sea Empress spilled 72,000 tonnes of oil after running aground off Milford Haven in the UK and 14 years since Prestige spilled 63,000 tonnes of oil in the Atlantic off Spain in 2002.

The last spill of a major size involved Hebei Spirit which spilled 11,000 tonnes in South Korea in 2007.

The last year in which more than 100,000 tonnes in total was spilled from tankers was 1994.

The fall has been particularly dramatic since the mid 1990s. In the 21 years from 1995 to 2015 less oil was spilled from tankers than in the three preceding years from 1992 to 1994, and almost the same as in the single year of 1991 which saw two massive tanker pollution incidents.

In a wider industry context even the biggest ever tanker spill was put into the shade by the Deepwater Horizon oil platform disaster in 2010 which saw more than 400,000 tonnes spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

In the six years from 2010 to 2015 a total of 33,000 tonnes was spilled from oil tankers.

In 2015 there were two significant spills, one in Singapore and one in Turkey, and a total of 7,000 tonnes spilled, which was the highest total since 2010 though still low historically.

The good record has continued so far in 2016 with few, relatively small, spills from tankers, including one in Malaysia and one in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, oil platforms have continued to suffer spills, for example in May the Shell Brutus platform spilled 300 tonnes of crude in the Gulf of Mexico.

The biggest cause of oil tanker spills over the years has been collisions and groundings, accounting for more than half the total. Advances in navigational safety systems, double hull designs and better training and operating procedures plus strict vetting, new legislation and port state control, have all contributed to this massive improvement.

Any oil spill, no matter how small, is harmful and with environmental protection taking an ever higher profile it would only take one major spill to set the whole industry back. Last week’s collision shows that the risk is still there.

It is therefore vital to ensure that the progress in recent years continues and that the big spills that were commonplace in the 20th century are condemned to history in the 21st.

Photos of the damage

Collision track from Vessel Finder

A view of the damaged to the container ship taken by Yujie Zheng on 9 Aug 2016.

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Ship collision near the Sisters Islands Marine Park, 3 Aug 2016 on wild shores of singapore

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