The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is organising the 9th edition of the International Safety@Sea Week, from 29 August to 2 September 2022. The annual event brings together top practitioners from the international maritime community to discuss issues relating to safety at sea and share best practices on maritime safety. This year’s anchor event, the International Safety@Sea Conference, was launched by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Finance, and will be conducted in a hybrid format from 30 to 31 August at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre. The theme for this year’s conference is “Riding the Waves for Maritime Safety” and will feature 20 local and international speakers.
600 participants from more than 30 countries are expected to participate in the sessions across the week. In his opening address, Mr Chee shared several MPA-led initiatives, which enhances safety at sea.
Leveraging on technology and connectivity to build maritime safety capabilities
SMS Chee announced that MPA and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) signed an MOU in mid-August 2022 to develop 5G mobile network capabilities in the maritime domain to enhance digital connectivity in the Port of Singapore. Full maritime 5G coverage in our major anchorages, fairways, terminals, and boarding grounds is scheduled to be delivered by mid-2025 and has the potential to unlock a full suite of maritime solutions leveraging complementary technologies such as artificial intelligence, internet-of-things, big data, drones and autonomous vehicles, to improve safety, effectiveness and efficiencies in maritime operations.
Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said, “Digitalisation continues to shape and transform the maritime industry, acting as a key driver for global trends such as logistics and supply chain efficiency and decarbonisation. MPA is taking the lead to help build a robust digital maritime ecosystem for Maritime Singapore, with fast, secure and high capacity 5G connectivity as one of the cornerstones to support real-time data exchanges in the maritime domain. Maritime 5G will enable our global hub port and International Maritime Centre to remain at the forefront of the competition.”
MPA’s incident response management and safety enforcement capabilities across the full spectrum of operations will be further strengthened through the development of the Integrated Port Operations C3 (Command, Control and Communications) system (IPOC system). The system is developed in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and will enhance situational awareness and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of incident responses. The IPOC system will be progressively phased in from 2023 till 2026 as MPA upgrades its systems to serve our busy port waters.
A key capability that will be developed as part of phase 2 of digitalPORT@SGTM is the Active Anchorage Management System (AAMS). The AAMS taps on various data sources to optimise allocation of limited anchorage space for vessels. It ensures that the vessel is anchored safely taking into consideration various conditions including the wind, tide, depth and proximity to hazards and is scheduled to be launched in 3Q2023.
Enhancing education on maritime safety
MPA, the Workplace Safety and Health (WSH) Council and the National Maritime Safety at Sea Council (NMSSC) also jointly launched an educational video on safe boarding of vessels that would be screened at Marina South Pier and West Coast Pier to remind personnel boarding and disembarking vessels about good WSH practices.
A booklet containing case studies for working safely in and around water was launched at the event. The booklet features 10 case studies, including transfer at sea, transport via barges, mooring and diving operations. Each case study highlights lessons learnt and best practices to avoid workplace fatalities and injuries. Both the video and booklet are available online at www.safetyatseaweek.gov.sg/resources.
MPA Academy’s Port Management Programme
In conjunction with the International Safety@Sea Week, 23 senior officials from maritime and port authorities from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Oceania and International Maritime Organization (IMO), will be attending the 8th edition of the Port Management Programme (PMP). The programme, delivered by industry practitioners and senior officers from MPA will cover key topics including maritime safety, port planning, digitalisation, emergency preparedness, crisis communication and sustainability. Participants will also attend the annual ferry rescue exercise (FEREX) and visit various MPA sites including the Integrated Simulation Centre and the Port Operations Control Centre.
International Safety@Sea Awards
MPA will also be presenting the International Safety@Sea Awards during the conference on 31 August 2022. A record number of 19 winners will be receiving the award, given out annually to recognise the outstanding efforts of organisations and individuals who have contributed towards ensuring safer seas. The winners were selected from nominations received across four categories this year. New criteria are introduced from this year to enable the harbour craft, pleasure craft and regional ferry community to also qualify for the awards.