MANILA, Philippines — The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has called on the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore to further improve navigation safety and environmental protection in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
ICS made the call following a detailed investigation into accident reports in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
With more than 70,000 vessels each year and over 150 a day transiting this strategically important international waterway, ICS believes it is imperative that safety continues to be prioritized.
While only a very small portion of these transits result in accidents or near misses, the ICS survey has identified heavy shipping traffic, inappropriate speed and the loss of situational awareness as significant factors that need to be addressed.
The ICS report praises the skill and professionalism of those managing, operating and navigating ships in the Malacca and Singapore Straits.
However, ICS suggested that improvements could be made to the location of pilot boarding areas and the timing of pilot departures.
ICS has also expressed concern about the understanding and use of navigation systems such as ECDIS, AIS and radar, both at sea and ashore.
Of the incidents examined, 68% resulted in collisions and all could have potentially caused harm or pollution incidents. The incidents involved a range of vessels from tugs to tankers.
The report recommends the littoral states consider how to address the speed management in the Singapore Straits, heavy traffic around pilot boarding areas, optimum pilot departure times, improved VTS/VTIS interaction with shipping, situational awareness, and pilot, tug, berth availability integration.
ICS director for marine John Murray said: “The littoral States welcomed the report and we were pleased to hear that measures are already being taken to further improve navigational services in the Straits.”
“Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to forward additional accident reports to further enhance the ICS study’s findings, particularly in relation to the Malacca Straits,” said Murray.
Singapore will be sending information on measures it has already taken to improve navigational services in relation to the Singapore Straits, which ICS will review by conducting a gap analysis in order to identify remaining safety proposals.