Sand Dredging Barge Incident, 14 Feared Dead
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received a report yesterday at around 10.00am that a Bolivian-registered sand dredging barge, Oceanline SC208, had capsized 7.5 nautical miles north-east of Pedra Branca in Singapore waters.
According to the vessel’s agent, there were 15 crew members (14 Chinese nationals and one Malaysian) on board at the time of the incident. A Chinese national was reportedly rescued by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
Two vessels were deployed immediately by MPA. Singapore is coordinating the search and rescue (SAR) operations which involves vessels from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSS Daring and RSS Fearless), the Singapore Police Coast Guard and several Malaysian vessels. MPA has also engaged salvage companies to conduct salvage operations.
Navigational broadcasts have been made to vessels in the vicinity to keep clear of the SAR area and to report any sightings of the missing persons.