MPA extends its support to the US Coast Guard and local authorities after bridge collapse

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The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has issued statement saying it is deeply saddened by the incident involving the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore after it was struck by the Singapore-flagged containership Dali, and that its thoughts are with the affected families during this very difficult time. Mr Teo Eng Dih, MPA Chief Executive, has extended to Admiral Linda L. Fagan, Commandant US Coast Guard, MPA’s continued support to the US Coast Guard and the local authorities.

MPA is working with the ship management company, Synergy Marine Pte Ltd, to facilitate information exchange to support US Coast Guard in its investigation. MPA has also requested the vessel’s classification society, ClassNK, to prepare the technical assessment and stability calculations, which are important parameters to support the US Coast Guard in the planning and subsequent safe execution of the vessel salvage operations.

MPA as the Singapore flag administration takes its responsibilities for the safety of vessels registered under its flag very seriously. It works with eight international classification societies, appointed as MPA’s Recognised Organisations, to survey, inspect and ensure Singapore-flag vessels comply with all applicable statutory requirements.

As part of its flag state obligations, MPA will be conducting an investigation into the Baltimore incident to determine whether there have been any infringements of relevant statutory requirements under the Merchant Shipping Act 1995.

The Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB), under Singapore’s Ministry of Transport, will be conducting an independent marine safety investigation under the IMO’s Casualty Investigation Code with the objective of identifying lessons to prevent future marine casualties and incidents. TSIB’s marine safety investigation do not seek to apportion responsibility or determine the liability for the incident.

MPA says it will continue to work with the ship management company to ensure that the welfare of Dali’s crew is taken care of throughout the incident, and that the company fully cooperates with the relevant local authorities.

The authority has also pointed out that container vessel Dali was flagged with Singapore from October 2016 and is classed by classification society ClassNK, adding that classification societies are generally authorised by a flag administration to monitor compliance to technical standards and the applicable regulations by vessels registered under its flag.

Based on records, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore confirms that the vessel’s required classification society and statutory certificates covering the structural integrity of the vessel and functionality of the vessel’s equipment, were valid at the time of the incident.

The vessel also underwent and passed two separate foreign port state inspections in June and September 2023. In the June 2023 inspection, a faulty monitor gauge for fuel pressure was rectified before the vessel departed the port.

Dali’s next classification and statutory surveys are due in June 2024.

 

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