100 tonnes of fuel hit Singaporean waters after two ships collide
Two bulk carriers—the South Korean-registered Oriental Pioneer and a Bahamas-flagged Atlantic Hero rammed into each other in Singaporean waters early this morning. Damage to the Oriental Pioneer’s fuel tank spilled around 100 tonnes (110 tons) of fuel oil. No one was injured, and the Singaporean government reports that cleanup is proving successful, though it has not clarified the cause of the collision.
And the referenced news release from the MPA:
2 July 2013
Oil spill following collision between Oriental Pioneer and Atlantic Hero -Update 1
Good progress has been made in containing and cleaning up the oil spill resulting from the collision between the South Korean-registered bulk carrier, Oriental Pioneer, and the Bahamas-registered bulk carrier, Atlantic Hero.
There has been no further spillage of fuel oil from Oriental Pioneer. As a precautionary measure, an oil boom and an oil spill response craft have been deployed around the vessel. Bio-degradable oil dispersants were used to break up the oil slick in the waters. As of 1700hrs, no significant patches of oil were sighted in the waters.
In total, 11 craft and some 100 personnel from MPA and oil spill response companies have been deployed as part of the containment and clean up efforts. A helicopter was also deployed to conduct aerial surveillance of the affected waters.
Vessel traffic in the Strait of Singapore and port waters remain unaffected. Port operations are also not affected.
Members of the public can contact MPA’s 24-hour Marine Safety Control Centre at 6325-2488/9 to report any sighting of oil slick in our waters or coastlines.
The collision between Oriental Pioneer and Atlantic Hero occurred about 6.6km south-west of Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal at 0530hrs on 2 Jul 2013 (Singapore time). Prior to the collision, MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre had provided information and issued warnings to the vessels when they were about 1.5 nautical miles (about 2.8km) apart. The ships were also in communication with each other.
MPA is investigating the cause of the collision.
End of release.
Am keeping my fingers crossed that this time, despite the collision location and distance from our eastern shores, the prevailing currents and winds, and most importantly the small size of the spill, any oil slick not mopped up by the cleanup operation SHOULD, in all likelihood, just miss the shores of our mainland and drift west and northwards towards the open South China Sea.
And a reminder of that rather bigger oil slick in 2010 which hit and blanketed my ‘playground’ and favourite running/walking route for weeks and weeks:
-The continuing oil ‘spill’ half a world away (now acknowledged to be an unprecedented oil leak disaster), to a much smaller but no less distressing oil spill and sludge drudge in home waters (and almost on my doorstep);