The number of major incidents in the Port of Singapore has dropped over the last 10 years, with fewer than 0.12 major incidents per 100,000 vessel movements in 2018, down from 0.8 in 2009.
Speaking at the fourth International Safety@Sea Conference held today, Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, said, “I thank the maritime community for the good work in improving maritime safety.
The use of technology and digitalisation can further enhance maritime safety by providing seafarers better access to critical safety-related information and early warning of potential incidents.”
Besides Safety@Sea, MPA will also be pushing for digitalisation in two other areas:
MPA will embark on a “Digital OCEANS” strategy to encourage Open or Common Exchange And Network Standardisation. This strategy aims to allow digital platforms of port authorities e.g. maritime single windows of shipping lines and of logistics service providers to link up. This will allow business entities, government agencies, and vessels to connect seamlessly between different digital platforms and achieve end-to-end connectivity. For example, MPA is developing a Maritime Single Window (MSW) to provide a single portal access to submit documents for port clearance. The MSW will have the ability to exchange relevant data through standard Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).
MPA is also supporting the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) in operationalising the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) concept of e-navigation for vessels which aims to make marine navigation safer and digitalise key maritime services. These initiatives will improve efficiency, reduce transaction costs and enhance maritime safety.
MOUs with Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety
At the event, Dr Lam also witnessed the signing of three memoranda of understanding (MOUs) following the launch of the Centre of Excellence in Maritime Safety (CEMS) last year. Set up by the Singapore Maritime Institute and Singapore Polytechnic, CEMS focuses on research and innovations that enhance navigational safety. It also contributes to the training and development of future-ready seafarers, through the use of emerging digital technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality. The three MOUs are:
a. MOU with A*STAR’s Institute of High-Performance Computing to conduct research in human behavioural analytics, advanced computational models and intelligent maritime traffic simulation in navigational safety.
b. MOU with Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau to jointly promote and enhance maritime safety investigations via the development of immersive training platforms and programmes.
c. MOU with Group Nautical Pte Limited to create, design and develop Virtual Reality maritime training courses using immersive technologies.
International Safety@Sea Week 2019
Organised by MPA, the fourth International Safety@Sea Conference was held as part of the International Safety@Sea Week to raise safety awareness and instil a safety-first culture.
Themed Maritime Safety in a Digital Age, over 300 international maritime professionals attended the conference to share best practices, exchange ideas and collaborate to enhance maritime safety. Ms Maja Markovcic Kostelac, Executive Director, European Maritime Safety Agency, gave a keynote speech. Other distinguished representatives from international organisations, research institutions and institutes of higher learning, and government agencies also spoke at the three plenary sessions. The opening plenary session discussed the topic of maritime safety in an age of digital disruption helmed by an international panel comprising Ms Kostelac, Captain Allan Gray, President, International Harbour Master Association, and Ms Caroline Yang, President, Singapore Shipping Association.
The annual International Safety@Sea Week runs from 26 to 30 August 2019. Besides the conference, there are also workshops, professional visits and a ferry rescue exercise in its line-up of activities.
Major incidents are those involving loss of lives or pollution or those that affect safety of navigation in surrounding waters.