In a new Port Marine Circular, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore reiterated to Masters and Bridge Resource Management teams, in particular those on board deep draught vessels (DDVs1 ) and very large crude carriers (VLCCs2 ) transiting in the westbound lane of the Traffic Separation Scheme and precautionary areas of the Singapore Strait, shall:

a) Allow for an under keel clearance of at least 3.5 metres at all times during the entire passage through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.

b) As far as it is safe and practicable, proceed at speed of not more than 12 knots over grounds in the westbound lanes between positions 01°12·51’N, 103°52·15’E and 01°11·59’N, 103°50·21’E and between position 01°11·13’N 103°49·08’E and 01°08·65’N, 103°44·30’E. (Between South of St John’s Island to Raffles Lighthouse).

 

 

The IMO Circular SN/Cir.198 provides information on the ‘Rules For Vessels Navigating Through the Straits of Malacca and Singapore’:

  • Rule 1: Eastbound deep draught vessels shall use the designated deep-water routes.
  • Rule 2: Eastbound deep draught vessels navigating in the deep-water routes in Phillip Channel and Singapore Strait shall as far as practicable, avoid overtaking.
  • Rule 3: All vessels navigating within the traffic separation scheme shall proceed in the appropriate traffic lane in the general direction of traffic flow for that lane and maintain as steady a course as possible, consistent with safe navigation.
  • Rule 4: All vessels having defects affecting operational safety shall take appropriate measures to overcome these defects before entering the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
  • Rule 5: In the event of an emergency or breakdown of a vessel in the traffic lane, the vessel shall, as far as practicable and safe, leave the lane by pulling out to the starboard side.
  • Rule 6:

(a) Vessels proceeding in the westbound lane of the traffic separation scheme “In the Singapore Strait” when approaching Raffles Lighthouse shall proceed with caution, taking note of the local warning system, and, compliance with Rule 18(d) of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, avoid impeding the safe passage of a vessel constrained by her draught which is exhibiting the signals required by Rule 28 and which is obliged to cross the westbound lane of the scheme in order to approach the single point mooring facility (in approximate position 01°11·42’N, 103°47·40’E, from Phillip Channel).
(b) Vessels proceeding in the traffic separation schemes when approaching any of the precautionary areas shall proceed with caution, taking note of the local warning system, and, in compliance with Rule 18 (d) of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, avoid impeding the safe passage of a vessel constrained by her draught which is exhibiting the signals required by Rule 28 and which is obliged to cross that precautionary area.
(c) Information relating to the movement of ships constrained by their draught as referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) above will be given by radio broadcasts. The particulars of such broadcasts are promulgated by Notices to Mariners. All vessels navigating in the area of the traffic separation scheme should monitor these radio broadcasts and take account of the information received.

  • Rule 7: VLCCs and deep draught vessels navigating in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore shall as far as it is safe and practicable, proceed at a speed of not more than 12 knots over the ground in the following areas: a) At One Fathom Bank traffic separation scheme ; b) Deep-water routes in the Phillip Channel and in Singapore Strait; and c) Westbound lanes between positions 01°12·51’N, 103°52·15’E and 01°11·59’N, 103°50·21’E and between position 01°11·13’N 103°49·08’E and 01°08·65’N, 103°44·30’E.
  • Rule 8: All vessels navigating in the routeing system of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore shall maintain at all times a safe speed consistent with safe navigation, shall proceed with caution, and shall be in a maximum state of manoeuvring readiness.
  • Rule 9: (a) Vessels which are fitted with VHF radio communication are to participate in the ship reporting system adopted by the Organization. (b) VLCCs and deep draught vessels navigating in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are advised to broadcast, eight hours before entering the traffic separation schemes, navigational information giving name, deadweight tonnage, draught, speed and times of passing One Fathom Bank Lighthouse, Raffles Lighthouse and Horsburgh Lighthouse. Difficult and unwieldy tows are also advised to broadcast similar information.
  • Rule 10: All vessels navigating in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore are requested to report by radio to the nearest shore authority any damage to or malfunction of the aids to navigation in the Straits, or any aids out of position in the Straits.
  • Rule 11: Flag States, owners and operators should ensure that their vessels are adequately equipped in accordance with the appropriate international conventions/recommendations.