S'pore to experience rain, lightning & rough seas until early March 2024: MPA

MPA said it would carry out more safety checks on ships.

Matthias Ang | December 15, 2023, 05:20 PM



Singapore is set to experience moderate to heavy rain and heightened lightning risks from now till early March 2024 as a result of the northeast monsoon, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said in a press release.

During this period, Singapore's waters will also experience strong winds, choppy seas, heavy swells, and poor visibility at sea.

Enhanced safety checks to be carried out by MPA

MPA added that it would carry out additional safety checks on ferries, harbour and pleasure craft.

Besides observing the general condition of the vessels, the inspectors will also inspect the embarking and disembarking process, the state of firefighting and life-saving equipment on board, and operators’ familiarity with emergency procedures.

In addition, MPA is working with "various stakeholders", including interest groups, the Singapore Canoe Federation, and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC), as part of an ongoing safety review of recreational activities off the waters at Sentosa and other areas with potentially higher risk.

While the safety review is ongoing, equipment rental operators are to ensure that pre-activity safety briefs are conducted, including the use of personal protective equipment.

MPA said it will also step up its patrols of the open waters off Sentosa during this period and called on the public to avoid activities during inclement weather.

Operators also have the right to refuse service if they assess that patrons pose safety risks to themselves or others, or if weather conditions are deemed to be unfavourable.

All vessels must travel at safe speed

MPA also issued a reminder for all vessels to proceed at safe speed when navigating in port waters.

Ship masters must remain alert while at anchor, regularly check the weather conditions, and observe the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).

All owners, operators, ship masters and crew must also ensure that their ships and cargo are properly secured for sea.

Port users are also encouraged to wear life jackets for their personal safety when boarding and disembarking from ships at the anchorage.

Firefighting and life-saving equipment on board ships must also be in good working condition and in accordance with the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) regulations.

The crew must also be familiar with safety and emergency procedures, especially when embarking and disembarking passengers during adverse weather conditions.

Passengers must exercise basic safety precautions, stay clean

MPA also called on passengers to exercise basic safety practices while out at sea.

This includes using handrails when embarking, remaining seated during the passage, exercising care when disembarking between the craft and landing steps, and ensuring that life jackets are worn when boarding and alighting vessels at sea.

Should members of the public be kayaking, canoeing, skiing, sailing, wind surfing or boating, they should check the weather forecast beforehand, wear the appropriate "personal floatation devices" and ensure that these devices are working.

MPA also advised travellers to "maintain good personal hygiene", and wear masks if they feel unwell.

Top photo by Hannah Martens