OIL containment and cleanup efforts are currently underway in Singapore after a dredger struck a stationary bunker barge, causing oil to spill into the water at the port.

The Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima allided with Singapore-flagged bunker vessel Marine Honour on 14 June at the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said the dredger had reported a sudden loss in engine and steering control before. The allision ruptured of the bunker vessel’s oil tanks. No injury to either crew was reported.

On 16 June the MPA stated that a number of beaches along the island’s coast were closed until further notice to facilitate cleanup of the spill, which they had initially described on 14 June as having been “contained”.

The MPA said they had mobilised 16 oil spill response craft to spray dispersements, as well as activating their oil spill response contractor, mobilising an oil skimmer and laying booms around both vessels in case of further leaks.

Despite these efforts, the oil spillage has spread via tides along Singapore’s southern shorelines, with the MPA advising the public to keep away from the affected areas listed to facilitate clean-up operations.

A further 1600 metres of booms will be laid over the coming days in an attempt to prevent further spread of oil onto the shore, though the MPA admitted these were less effective against waves higher than 0.5 metres.

The MPA has emphasised as of the most recent update on 17 June that navigation traffic in the Singapore Strait and Port operations remain unaffected.

Both vessels were reported to be anchored in a stable condition following the incident, with some damage above the waterlines.

MPA said its investigations are ongoing with the assistance of the vessel master and crew.