2 anchored cargo ships collide in Singapore waters
Two cargo vessels crash in rare accident off S'pore
In a rare accident, two anchored cargo ships collided in Singapore waters, sending 10 containers toppling from one ship to another.
Another container fell into the sea in the crash on Friday.
The accident involving cargo ship Hanjin New York added to the woes of collapsed South Korean maritime company Hanjin Shipping.
But no oil pollution or injuries were reported.
A spokesman for the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) told The New Paper: "The Hanjin New York dragged anchor and contacted the bow of a Liberia-registered container ship, MSC Claudia.
"Ten 40-foot empty containers fell from Hanjin New York onto MSC Claudia's bow and one 40-foot empty container fell into the sea."
TNP understands that there were strong currents when the collision occurred.
It is believed to be the first case of an anchor drag collision off Singapore. TNP understands that the MPA has not come across previous anchor drag accidents.
The two cargo container vessels were anchored at Eastern Bunkering "A" near the Singapore Anchorage off Changi Naval Base when the accident happened at about 6pm.
The MSC Claudia (above.)
The container that fell into the sea has been retrieved and arrangements are being made to remove the 10 containers from MSC Claudia.
The MPA spokesman said that both vessels sustained minor indentations and were later safely re-anchored.
MPA is investigating the incident.
Mr Eugene Cheng, 29, a lawyer specialising in shipping litigation from Gurbani and Co LLC, said: "One of the most common reasons why vessels collide is because of the failure of the crew to maintain a proper lookout."
Hanjin Shipping, the seventh-largest shipping carrier in the world, first made news in late August when creditors Rickmers sued the company for owing some $7.3 billion.
This led to an arrest of Hanjin's vessels, leaving more than 80 Hanjin vessels and crew onboard stranded around the globe.
INTERIM STAY ORDER
One such vessel, the Hanjin Rome, was in Singapore waters when it was arrested at 9.20pm on Aug 29 and the cargo was stuck aboard along with 24 crew members - 11 South Koreans and 13 Indonesians.
TNP reported on Oct 1 that five crew members had been repatriated on Sept 27 including the vessel's former captain Moon Kwon Do, but the Hanjin Rome is still stuck in Singapore waters. An interim stay order granted by the Singapore Supreme Court on Sept 16 meant that Hanjin's vessels were allowed to berth in Singapore's ports to offload cargo.
Hanjin's vessels from the region have since made a beeline for the port of Singapore.
Hanjin Shipping's website reported that at least seven Hanjin vessels have berthed at the Tanjong Pagar Terminal since the collision happened on Friday, including the Hanjin New York.
The MPA said yesterday that there are three Hanjin vessels in Singapore.
At least two other vessels, Hanjin Netherlands and Hanjin China, are expected to berth in the next three days.