Singapore – On March 2 (Saturday), a Singapore-flagged ferry named Wavemaster 5 ran aground at Karang Galang reef, located off the eastern coast of Batam, Indonesia.
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) released a statement saying that there was a total of 50 passengers, including five Singaporeans, and seven crew members onboard the ferry which left Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia and was headed for Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Singapore when the incident occurred.
The MPA received a report at 1:55 pm on Saturday about the incident and the ferry operator, Majestic Ferry, immediately activated another ferry named Wavemaster 6 to transfer all the passengers to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal. The MPA added that as of 5:50 pm the same afternoon, all passengers were accounted for and have safely returned to the designated terminal. The ferry was in stable condition, and there have been no reports of oil pollution or injury to passengers.
“Passengers were systematically disembarked and provided with some food, drinks and wet towels,” MPA said.
In an article reported by The Strait Times, the MPA mentioned that staff from government agencies such as the Immigration & Checkpoint Authority, Singapore Civil Defence Force and Singapore Police Force, including staff from Majestic Ferry and Singapore Cruise Centre were quick to assist the affected passengers. Furthermore, “three patrol crafts were deployed by MPA and Police Coast Guard to escort the ferry to the terminal. Majestic Ferry also arranged for 30 taxis to send the affected passengers to their homes or next destinations free of charge,” highlighted the MPA.
MPA is further investigating the incident.
Location of Karang Galang reef based on Google maps:
Image of Karang Galang reef based on nautical navigation website Sea-Seek:
The reef appears to be a ridge of black stones during low water (low tide).