The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has said it is stepping up its safety checks and measures through Northeast Monsoon Season.
These extra measures have been introduced as weather conditions have worsened, with strong winds, choppy seas and heavy thundery showers increasing risks at sea. This is expected to last until around March 2022.
Due to the severe weather conditions, MPA’s port inspectors and marine surveyors have been carrying out more spot checks on vessels. On top of this, inspections of the general conditions of vessels will also be increased, with them focusing on the safe embarkation and disembarkation of passengers, the condition of firefighting and life-saving equipment on board, and operators’ familiarity with emergency procedures and compliance with MPA regulations.
Furthermore, MPA officers will continue to conduct safety briefings to masters and crews to remind them to observe safe best practices and the importance of navigational safety. These briefings will also include the best measures in combating the spread of COVID-19.
“Safety is a shared responsibility. MPA urges the industry and port users to be alert while navigating and to play their part in preventing incidents at sea. We also urge members of the public who are out at sea to be vigilant at all times and to familiarise themselves with life-saving equipment, passenger safety instructions and prevailing weather conditions,” said Captain Chong Jia Chyuan, Port Master for the MPA.
“Persons engaging in recreational water activities should also be extra vigilant during this monsoon period. MPA will continue to work with the maritime community to instil a strong safety culture and enhance navigational safety in our port waters.”
The National Maritime Safety at Sea Council (NMSSC), which serves as an advisory to the MPA on maritime safety matters, has been working closely with the port authority and various MPA-industry safety workgroups on these measures.
Mr Ishak Ismail, Chairman for the NMSSC, added “As one of the busiest shipping ports in the world, maritime safety is of utmost importance to the Port of Singapore. NMSSC is pleased to work with MPA and members of the industry through the safety workgroups on collaborative solutions to enhance safety at sea.”
The MPA also recently held an inaugural sector-wide maritime cybersecurity exercise which test the sector’s coordination on cybersecurity incident management, emergency response plans and crisis communications.
The exercise was held across three days in November 2021 and conducted in a hybrid format involving around 90 participants from the MPA, as well as PSA Corporation Ltd (PSA), Jurong Port Pte Ltd (JP), and Pacific International Lines (PIL).