New Survey to Enhance SOMS’ Safety

A hydrographic survey of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) was launched today by the three littoral States – Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – and the Malacca Straits Council of Japan at the Marina South Pier.

This initiative was one of the key recommendations that arose from a study conducted by OMC International Pty Ltd – a maritime engineering consultant – commissioned by the littoral States of the SOMS in 2013 on real-time monitoring of under keel clearance in the SOMS. The data from the survey will be used to produce large-scale Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) covering five areas in the Straits critical to navigation.

This will complement existing ENCs of the SOMS and will provide the shipping industry and authorities with high resolution bathymetry information relating to the depth of waters. Such information would enable better voyage planning and greater navigational safety while sailing in these areas.


Dr Parry Oei, Singapore’s Chief Hydrographer and Director (Port Services) of MPA, said: “This survey is an excellent example of cooperation between user and littoral States in ensuring safety of navigation and protection of environment. It is timely as the Straits continue to grow in importance.

“Results from the survey would help update charts and also allow authorities and users of the Straits to have a better understanding of the seabed topology and its surrounding for safer and more efficient passage planning.”

If debris or obstructions are detected, a remote operated vehicle will be deployed to provide underwater visuals.