Singapore authority MPA said Sunday dredger Vox Maxima had reported a sudden loss in engine and steering control before its allision with bunker vessel Marine Honour on 14 June 2024. The allision caused a rupture of one of the Marine Honour’s oil cargo tanks, and its contents of low-sulphur fuel oil were released to the sea, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in its release.

The company Van Oord (operators of the dredger Vox Maxima), however, mentioned yesterday that its P&I insurer and flag state are also investigating the cause of this incident, and they cannot comment further whilst these investigations are ongoing. 

To remind, an allision was reported on Friday between a Netherlands-flagged dredger, Vox Maxima, and a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel, Marine Honour which was alongside a container vessel berthed at the Pasir Panjang Terminal.

On Friday the authority MPA reported that some oil from the damaged cargo tank on board Marine Honour spilled into the water and that the affected cargo tank has been isolated and the spill contained.

No injuries were reported by the authorities.

The company Van Oord, which specialises in dredging, marine engineering and offshore projects, said the clean-up operations for the oil spill resulting from the collision are ongoing.

“Both vessels are currently anchored safely, are in stable condition, with some damage above the waterline. There are no personal injuries reported,” the company said in a statement.

“We are cooperating with the investigations by the authorities. As long as investigations are ongoing, we can’t provide any further substantive information in the interests of the investigations.”

“Van Oord, operators of the dredger Vox Maxima, regrets the allision under pilotage with the bunker vessel Marine Honour, while berthed at the Pasir Panjang Terminal in Singapore on June 14, 2024. We recognise the impact of the subsequent spill of oil on the people of Singapore.”

“A dedicated Van Oord team has flown to Singapore and is on-site to assist where possible, and to support the captain and crew of the Vox Maxima. As responsible operators, we are fully insured with a leading member of The International Group of Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Clubs and will meet our responsibilities and obligations in relation to this incident,” added Van Oord.

Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority, in a joint statement with the National Environment Agency, the National Parks Board and Sentosa Development Corp., said the master and crew members of Vox Maxima are assisting in the ongoing investigations.

Furthermore, MPA, PSA and the bunker vessel company have activated oil spill response craft to the location.

Singapore’s MPA patrol craft were immediately activated and deployed to spray dispersants on the spill. MPA’s oil spill response contractor was also activated, and they mobilised an oil skimmer to reduce the impact of the spill.

Booms were also laid around the vessels thereafter as added precaution in case of further leaks from the vessel. Due to the tidal currents, parts of the oil spillage have landed along the southern shorelines including Sentosa, Labrador Nature Reserve, Southern Islands, Marina South Pier, and East Coast Park.    

“As at 16 June 2024 at 1:30 pm, there are no signs of oil slick within Sisters’ Islands Marine Park but oil sheen was observed in the surrounding waters,” said MPA in its statement.

The National Parks Board (NParks) also deployed oil absorbent booms to protect Berlayer Creek and the Rocky Shore at Labrador Nature Reserve. While West Coast Park is not affected, oil absorbent booms have also been deployed at West Coast Park to protect the mangroves at the Marsh Garden.  

The MPA said close to 1500 metres of containment booms have been progressively deployed since last Friday, at various locations including the three beaches at Sentosa, entrance of Keppel Marina, off Labrador Nature Reserve, East Coast Park and West Coast Park. 

Another 1600 metres of booms will be laid over the next few days to prevent further spread of oil onto the shore, according to MPA.