The ferry emergency exercise (FEREX) involved a regional ferry with 150 passengers on board that collided with a large underwater object and started taking on water.
As part of the scenario two passengers panicked and jumped overboard requiring a search and rescue operation. The remaining passengers were evacuated into liferafts and passenger critically injured were transferred by Republic Singapore Air Force helicopter.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) transferred the remaining passengers from life rafts onto their vessels, which included SCDF’s Heavy Rescue Vessel.
The opportunity was taken to test new technologies including the use of remotely piloted water rescue lifebuoys which could be steered directly towards passengers in the water, as well as ‘live’ streaming of the incident site through camera-mounted drones, CCTVs installed on board the ferry, and Smart glasses worn by the On Scene Commander.
Daknashamoorthy Ganasen, director of operations and marine services at MPA, said, “We have had the opportunity to deploy and test new technologies at FEREX 2019 to enhance rescue efforts. Through this exercise, MPA hopes that it enhances contingency preparedness of the participating agencies, and more importantly, will raise situational awareness of ferry passengers.”
The exercise involved 10 government agencies, three ferry operators and Singapore Cruise Centre.
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