The exercise scenario involved the evacuation of 72 passengers onboard a domestic ferry, after her grounding on a large underwater object. Passengers were then evacuated onto life rafts and a rescue ferry alongside the grounded vessel. A search and rescue operation was also conducted for missing passengers.

New to this year’s exercise, MPA trialed the use of smart devices to boost search and rescue efforts. For example, a water-activated internet-of-things (IoT) device was attached to a life jacket to test if Singapore’s 4G or Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network was able to pick up the device’s signal and determine the location of a man overboard quickly and accurately. Such smart devices will improve agencies’ emergency response, especially in scenarios of poor visibility or hours of darkness.

A separate table-top exercise was held on 16 August 2018 to test the activation and notification procedures as well as operational decision-making processes in handling of ferry mishaps.

Each year, MPA conducts a Ferry Emergency Exercise to test the coordination and operational readiness of our agencies. Through this exercise, we work with other agencies to fine-tune their processes and share best practices. MPA will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure safety of navigation and passengers on board ferries,

...said Captain Kevin Wong, MPA’s Port Master.

The list of participating agencies included:

1. Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
2. Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
3. Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
4. Singapore Armed Forces
5. Singapore Civil Defence Force
6. Singapore Police Force
7. Singapore Island Cruise and Ferry Services Pte Ltd
8. Posh Semco Pte Ltd
9. Singapore Emergency Ambulance Services Pte Ltd
10. Singapore Polytechnic/Singapore Maritime Academy