Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 12/14/2012 09:01 | By Channel NewsAsia

Cargo ship ignored instructions to disembark passengers at safe place: MPA

Cargo ship ignored instructions to disembark passengers at safe place: MPA


Cargo ship ignored instructions to disembark passengers at safe place: MPA

SINGAPORE: The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) on Thursday explained why it denied entry of a Vietnamese cargo ship into the Port of Singapore.

MPA said it received a Pre—Arrival Notification that the Vietnam—registered bulk carrier MV Nosco Victory would be calling at the Port of Singapore. MPA also received a report from MRCC Port Blair that MV Nosco Victory had rescued a total of 40 persons from the sea off the coast of Myanmar.

They are believed to be survivors picked up by the Vietnamese cargo ship when their vessel, the Nagu, sank on December 5 after making a port call in Myanmar’s western Rakhine province, according to the Indian coast guard.

The Rakhine region has been embroiled in violence over the past year that has left tens of thousands of minority Muslim Rohingya people homeless and accelerated migration. However, it is not clear if the survivors are Rohingya, whose plight has brought pressure on Myanmar’s government.

Taking into consideration the safety and security of the ship, and following consultations with MPA, MRCC Port Blair advised the shipmaster of MV Nosco Victory to proceed to the nearest place of safety to disembark the rescued persons.

But the shipmaster ignored these suggestions to proceed to the nearest place of safety, and insisted on proceeding to Singapore as its next port of call, which would take at least three days of sailing time from the point of rescue.

Information provided by the vessel’s Master concerning the rescued persons is sketchy and there is no other official documentation to assist at this point. But an MPA spokesperson said they do not appear to be persons eligible to enter Singapore.

Under these circumstances, MV Nosco Victory was denied entry into the Port of Singapore.

—CNA/ac

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