Container Ship Spills Oil in Singapore Waters

SINGAPORE, June 12, 2003 (ENS) - Early this morning, a Singapore registered container ship, the 40,077 ton APL Emerald, ran aground in Singapore waters, spilling about 150 metric tons of fuel oil into the sea.

The vessel was just three hours into its journey from the Port of Singapore to its destination at Chiwan, China when it grounded about 1.3 kilometers (0.8 miles) south of Horsburgh Lighthouse, according to the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).


The APL Emerald near Singapore (Photo courtesy Tylon Leung)
The shipmaster reported that one of the vessel's water ballast tanks and four fuel oil tanks were damaged as a result of the incident. There was no report of any injury to the crew. The vessel is in stable condition.

As a precautionary measure, oil booms are being laid around the vessel.

The Maritime and Port Authority has deployed six anti-pollution craft to clean up the oil spill. The vessel's local agent, Tanker Pacific Management, has also arranged for divers and eight anti-pollution craft to assist.

An aerial reconnaissance conducted this morning showed that there has been no further leakage of fuel oil from the vessel. Three oil patches, measuring about 300 by 100 meters (985 by 330 feet) were sighted near the vessel.

None of the spilled oil has reached mainland Singapore. Port operations and vessel traffic remain unaffected, the MPA says.


Port of Singapore (Photo credit unknown)
Navigational broadcasts have been issued to inform ships in the vicinity, of the incident and to keep clear. All port operations continue to function normally. Vessel traffic within the Singapore waters and the Singapore Strait remain unaffected.

The MPA is investigating to determine the cause of the accident.

The vessel APL Emerald is chartered by American President Lines, and is owned by Flinderton International Partnership of Singapore. It is operated by Zodiac Maritime Agencies.