AN Antigua and Barbuda flagged freighter carrying 560 metric tonnes of bunker fuel sank after colliding with a Cayman Islands registered chemical tanker in the eastbound lane of the traffic separation scheme of the Singapore Strait.
The collision between the 10,386 dwt freighter Thorco Cloud and the 37,438 dwt Stolt Commitment tanker occurred Wednesday evening 2014 hours in Indonesian waters six nautical miles (11km) north west of Batam Island, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, adding that the tanker sustained only slight damage and was in stable condition.
After being alerted of the incident, the port authorities dispatched two patrol ships to carry out search and rescue operations, while Singapore’s Police Coast Guard sent out five vessels and rescued five of the 12 freighter crew. A sixth crewmember was picked up by the chemical tanker.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force, which deployed two ships to help search and rescue activities, subsequently ferried the six crewmembers to Singapore General Hospital.
Singapore’s port authorities had also notified Indonesian authorities which then started their own search and rescue operations for the remaining freighter crewmembers.
“MPA is assisting the Indonesian authorities to survey and mark the sunken freighter to ensure navigational safety,” they said in a statement.
The port authority has sent navigational broadcasts warning vessels to keep clear of the incident area and to report any sightings of the missing crewmembers.
“There is no disruption to shipping traffic in the Singapore Strait. While there are currently no reports of any oil spill, MPA has also put on standby anti-pollution craft.”