Five crew missing after dredger collides with tanker off Singapore

5 men missing after early morning maritime collision

The National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) of Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands, said on Wednesday that two of the five sailors reported missing during a collision between the Indonesian-flagged MV Kartika Segara tanker and the Dominican Republic-flagged JBB De Rong 19 dredger had been found dead.

The dredger was transiting in the westbound lane of the traffic separation scheme (TSS) when it was involved in a collision with the Indonesian-registered tanker Kartika Segara which was joining the eastbound lane of the TSS. From dredger's 12 crew, 7 were rescued by Singapore Police boat, 5 went missing. Dredger capsized and partially sank, tanker suffered starboard bow damage, but remained seaworthy and was brought to anchor at Eastern Anchorage, Singapore. Seven of the Chinese nationals have been rescued and taken to hospital.

At the point of collision which occurred in Singapore territorial waters about 12.40am, 12 crew members were onboard JBB DE RONG 19.

Divers recovered the two bodies from the partially submerged dredger, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said. 30 boats from Singapore and neighboring Indonesia, and five Singapore Air Force aircraft, the MPA, the Coast Guard and the Singapore Civil Defense Force launched an SAR operation. The tanker was reportedly damaged on her starboard bow, but was stable and is now anchored at the Eastern Anchorage. The MPA has told ships to look out for the missing crew and to navigate with caution near the collision site.

On August 21, the destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker near the Singapore Strait, tearing a gaping hole in the ship's hull, and flooding it with water.

The shipping lanes around Singapore are among the world's busiest and its navigational challenges include a narrow strait, frequently limited visibility and thousands of vessels sailing through daily. The cause of the incident remains under investigation.

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