Port of Singapore holds annual multi-agency ferry emergency exercise
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) conducted a ferry emergency exercise today to test the readiness of various agencies in responding to ferry mishaps in the Port of Singapore, MPA said in its press release.
More than 100 personnel from ten organisations (Annex) took part in the exercise at sea near Kukor Buoy. The exercise scenario involved the evacuation of 72 passengers on-board 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 trialled 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.
Captain Kevin Wong, MPA’s Port Master, said, "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.”