An Iranian-flagged freight ship was aground on Thursday after colliding with a container ship in the busy shipping lanes off Singapore, the port authority said.
The ship, carrying a cargo of maize and on its way to Vietnam when it struck an Indonesian-flagged container vessel outside Singapore port’s waters late on Wednesday, was towed to shallow waters to avoid sinking.
The container ship carried on its way. Singapore is the world’s busiest container port and the world’s top fuel bunkering port, and the city-state’s trade is more than three times the size of its gross domestic product.
There were no casualties but the freight ship’s cargo hold was damaged and had to have water pumped out. The ship could be seen lying very low in the water from buildings overlooking the port.
“It’s in a stable condition — it will have to be moved,” a spokeswoman from the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said, adding the cause of the collision, the only one this year, was being investigated.
Now read this:
Singapore says no danger of ship collision
8 Apr 09
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore denies claims that ships are being allowed to lay up in its anchorages following publication of a P&I club circular warning of collision with laid-up vessels.
The American P&I Club said its alert affects vessels sailing through or anchoring in the territorial waters of Singapore, including the eastern and western outer port limit (OPL) anchorages, where there is a danger of collisions.
The club said: “Our recent experience of certain, thankfully only small, collision claims, together with more general comments from other sources, point to an increased risk of collisions in this area where there has been a significant rise in the number of vessels lying at anchor.
“It would appear that the most recent spate of collisions has occurred at the eastern OPL anchorage.”
MPA port master Lee Cheng Wee is quoted by Lloyd’s list as saying the anchorages have not become crowded due to the economic downturn and that concerns over increasing congestion are unfounded.
The club adds: “The congestion at Singapore has become a matter of considerable anecdotal comment – not least for those flying into Changi Airport on certain approaches who are best able to see the multitude of vessels anchored in the areas in question.”