A Greece-flagged bulk carrier departing from Singapore crashed into a stationary Malaysian buoy-laying vessel, Polaris, yesterday at around 2.26pm (UTC+8 hours, Singapore time), at the disputed Johor Straits waters.
A check with Polaris’s vessel speed revealed that the territory-marking vessel was stationary and that the Greek ship, which was travelling at 11knots (~20km/hr), rapidly slowed down and crashed into front of the Malaysian vessel.
According to a maritime news site, the Greek vessel, Pireas 8, “probably went out of control” prior to the crash.
The Malaysian authorities confirmed that the two ships had communicated prior to the contact and they had given clear instructions to Pireas 8. This is correct considering Pireas rapidly slowed down its speed about 50 minutes before the collision.
The crew of Pireas were arrested by the Malaysian authorities after the crash, and the Singapore authorities did not attend to the incident despite claiming the incident happened at “Singapore territories”.
The mild collision between the two vessels had only surface grazing and did not cause any injury or critical vessel damage. Pireas is currently anchored in Malaysia while the Malaysian vessel continued its duties marking Malaysian territories at the Johor Straits.