The Northeast Monsoon has set in and is expected to last till March 2023. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) urges members of the public to exercise care and remain vigilant when at sea, in particular during this period.
uring this period, the winds around Singapore are expected to strengthen while the sea conditions are expected to be choppy with moderate to heavy rain. MPA would also like to remind industry and port users to implement the necessary safety measures when conducting their operations.
For sea transport passengers and commuters, MPA highlights the importance of exercising basic safety practices, including remaining seated during the passage, using handrails when embarking and disembarking between the craft and landing steps, and donning of lifejackets when boarding and alighting the vessels at sea.
Persons engaging in recreational activities such as canoeing, kayaking, swimming, skiing, sailing and surfing should check the weather forecast and tidal conditions before heading to sea. Additionally, pleasure craft boaters should wear life jackets for their personal safety, especially on open deck boats, as there is increased risk of falling overboard.
For port users, MPA reminds all owners, operators, masters and crew that ships and cargoes must be properly secured for sea and they must also ensure that their ships’ firefighting and life-saving equipment on board are in good working condition and in accordance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations.
Additionally, the crew must be familiar with safety procedures, including exercising safe speed, shipboard emergency procedures, and embarking and disembarking passengers, especially in strong wind conditions.
Masters must also remain alert while at anchor, keep a safe anchor watch, regularly check the weather conditions, ensure engines are ready for manoeuvring, and observe the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).
When alongside, Masters and crew are to ensure that mooring lines are safely secured and tightened. Port users are also encouraged to wear life jackets for their personal safety when boarding and disembarking from ships at the anchorage.
Enhanced safety checks and measures by MPA
During this period, MPA will be stepping up safety checks and measures. MPA inspectors will conduct additional spot checks on ferries, harbour and pleasure craft.
Besides the inspections on the general condition of the vessels, the inspectors will also focus on the embarking and disembarking process, the state of firefighting and life-saving equipment on board, and operators’ familiarity with emergency procedures.
Safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone must play their part to ensure that both operations and recreation at sea remain safe, especially during the monsoon period. Accidents often happen when complacency sets in. Do not leave anything to chance as the sea conditions can change very quickly. Be prepared and stay alert whenever you are at sea
Captain Chong Jia Chyuan, Port Master of MPA, said.