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Malaysian vessel collides with Greek carrier in Singapore Port Limits off Tuas

Singapore — The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said that a collision had taken place on February 9 between Greece-registered bulk carrier Pireas and Malaysian government vessel Polaris, in Singapore territorial waters within the Singapore Port Limits off Tuas.

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After refueling at Singapore's eastern bunkering anchorage south of Bedok, Pireas declared to MPA that its next port of call was to be Tanjung Pelepas, the MPA said in an update Sunday.

At 1355pm SGT (0555 GMT) on February 9, Pireas entered Singapore Port Limits off Tuas. It then slowed down, changed direction and collided with Polaris, the MPA said.

As the collision incident was not considered a very serious marine casualty incident under the International Maritime Organization Marine Casualty Investigation Code, the vessel was allowed to proceed with its journey to Tanjung Pelepas, the MPA said.

There are no reported injuries or oil leakage, the MPA said, adding that it has launched an investigation into the incident while also issuing notifications to both the Marine Department Malaysia and Greece's Hellenic Bureau for Marine Casualties Investigation to inform them about the incident.

"MPA is also gathering and reviewing information such as the vessel records and video footage of the collision and has requested a formal incident report from both vessels," it said.

"We advise the shipping community to ensure that vessels operating within Singapore Port Limits comply with the applicable regulations, including reporting their movements and to anchor only within designated anchorages," the MPA added.

Polaris is one of the vessels that trespassed into Singapore's waters off Tuas late last year.

The collision between the two vessels took place in an area that goes beyond Malaysia's territorial claim of 1979, which Singapore has never recognized, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Singapore said separately Sunday.

"Singapore reiterates its call for Malaysia to withdraw its vessels from the area, as the persistent presence of its vessels clearly poses a threat to safety of navigation in the area," MFA said in a statement.

Malaysia will be responsible for any untoward situations on the ground that arises from continued deployment of its vessels into this area, it added.

-- Surabhi Sahu,

-- Edited by Elizabeth Thang,