The five missing crew are from the dredger Dominican-registered dredger JBB De Rong 19 which 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.
The dredger was partially capsized in the accident and remains part submerged according to the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). Seven Chinese nationals were rescued from the JBB De Rong, while four Chinese seafarers and one Malaysian remain unaccounted for.
The MPA said that it had deployed three patrol craft to assist in the search and rescue operation with Republic of Singapore Navy, civil defence force and the Police Coast Guard deploying a total of seven vessels on the scene. A Singapore Air Force helicopter is also searching the area.
According to Equasis the 2017-built dredger is managed and operated by Malaysian company LK Global Shipping.
“Two MPA tug boats have moved the partially submerged dredger safely to an area near Pulau Senang for follow up underwater search operations,” MPA said.
The tanker was reported to have damage to its starboard bow and its 26 crew were not injured in the collision. The Kartika Segara is now anchored in Singapore’s Eastern anchorage. The 1998-built, 30,747 dwt tanker is owned by Pelayaran United Jaya of Indonesia
The collision happened in Singapore waters 1.7 nm southwest of Sisters Island. “The Singapore Vessel Traffic Information System had provided navigational information to both vessels prior the collision,” MPA said.
The authorities said there was no disruption to shipping traffic and the incident was under investigation.
It is the second major collision in the Singapore Strait, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, in less than a month. On 21 August the product tanker Alnic C collided with the US warship USS John McCain leaving 10 dead and five injured from the warship.