The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) held a half-day emergency preparedness exercise, codenamed ‘FEREX 2016’ yesterday (September 02).
The annual ferry exercise (FEREX) aims to test the readiness of various agencies to respond to ferry mishaps in the Port of Singapore.
More than 450 personnel from 15 agencies and companies took part in this full deployment exercise which included deployment of resources at sea at the Western Anchorage for rescue operations, manning of emergency operations centre at MPA’s Port Operations Control Centre, and landing of casualties and rescued persons at Harbourfront Centre Terminal.
The exercise was observed by Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan, maritime safety agencies from Europe, Asia and Small Island Developing States, ferry operators, International Ferry Safety Association and participants from overseas maritime and port administrations attending the third Port Management Programme conducted by the MPA Academy.
The exercise scenario involved a collision between two regional passenger ferries. The impact of the collision caused the hull of “Ferry 1” to be breached and it started to take in water. Some passengers were injured while some jumped into the sea out of panic.
Life rafts had to be activated and a total of 15 craft were deployed to conduct search and rescue operations, evacuation of injured passengers and recovery of man overboard.
Andrew Tan, MPA's Chief Executive said, "Safety remains our key priority. Today's ferry evacuation exercise held as part of our Safety@Sea week, aims to test the coordination and operational readiness of our ferry operators and various agencies in responding to emergencies. MPA will continue to work closely with the maritime community to strengthen the safety regime for regional ferries.”