18 April 2018

Butane gas spill off Life Firing Islands, 17 Apr 2018

A collision between an LPG tanker and a tanker resulted in a spill of 1,796 metric tonnes of butane gas.
The accident happened on 17 Apr 2018 at 2.30am about one nautical mile south of Tuas Extension in Singapore waters. Some of our most pristine shores lie nearby, such as the Live Firing Islands and large 'Terumbus' or submerged reefs.

MPA says:

At about 2.30am on 17 April 2018, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) received a report from Singapore-registered LPG tanker, CRYSTAL SUNRISE that she had collided with a westbound Greece-registered tanker, ASTRO SATURN. CRYSTAL SUNRISE was picking up her pilot near the designated western pilot boarding ground when the collision took place about one nautical mile south of Tuas Extension, in Singapore territorial waters.

Following the collision, CRYSTAL SUNRISE sustained damage to her ballast tank. The master reported that the butane that vessel was carrying had started to leak from one of the cargo tanks. The ship’s crew took the necessary measures and stopped the leak. ASTRO SATURN sustained damages to her port anchor and bow. Both CRYSTAL SUNRISE and ASTRO SATURN have been stabilised.

An estimated 1,796MT of butane gas had leaked. As liquefied butane has a high evaporation rate, MPA has assessed that any leaked butane would have been carried southward away from mainland Singapore, where most of it would have rapidly dissipated to below flammable levels within an hour and pose no risk to shipping.

Media articles on the incident compiled here.

File photo of Singapore-registered LPG tanker Crystal Sunrise (top)
and Greece-registered tanker Astro Saturn.
(Photos: MarineTraffic.com)
From Channel NewsAsia

What natural shores are found near the spill site?

The Live Firing Islands have among our most untouched reefs and marine ecosystems as they are off limits. These include the islands of Pulau Salu, Pulau Sudong, Pulau Pawai and Pulau Senang. Raffles Lighthouse located on Pulau Satumu, and the tiny island of Pulau Biola nearby, has some of our best reefs and rare coastal plants.
Pristine Reefs of Raffles Lighthouse
The living reefs of Raffles Lighthouse
with Pulau Biola on the horizon.
Large submerged reefs such as Terumbu Bemban, Beting Bemban Besar and the Terumbu Pempangs lie nearby.
Living reefs of Terumbu Bemban

What other impacts on Singapore?

Singapore's desalination plants located at Tuas may also be impacted.

Oil spills on our Southern Islands

Our Southern Islands including the islands of our Marine Park lie close to the Singapore Strait, a major shipping lane connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
Large vessel in the Singapore Strait from Sisters Islands
with St John's Island on the horizon.
Large vessels from the Middle East, India to China, Japan and Korea ply this route.
Huge container ship seen off Sisters Island.
Large vessels travelling off the Marine Park.
Photo by Chia Wei Wei during a public walk
at the Sisters Islands Marine Park in Dec 2015. 

Recent ship collisions and oil spills near the Southern Islands


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