Greece-registered carrier collides with Marine Dept vessel in Johor new port limits

A Greece-registered bulk carrier Piraeus has collided with the Malaysian Marine Department vessel MV Polaris that is anchored in the Johor new port limits on February 9, 2019. — Picture courtesy of Singapore Police Force
A Greece-registered bulk carrier Piraeus has collided with the Malaysian Marine Department vessel MV Polaris that is anchored in the Johor new port limits on February 9, 2019. — Picture courtesy of Singapore Police Force

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — A Greece-registered bulk carrier has collided with the Malaysian Marine Department vessel MV Polaris that is anchored in the Johor new port limits earlier today.

The carrier named Pireaus was en route from Singapore to the Tanjung Pelepas Port in Iskandar Puteri, Johor before the incident on 2.28pm.

In a statement, the Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore has instead blamed the incident on “unauthorised vessels”, claiming they were present in its so-called waters.

“MPA is deeply concerned that the presence of unauthorised vessels in Singapore port limits can cause confusion for the international shipping community and threaten navigational safety in our waters.

“MPA is investigating the incident,” it said in its statement.

Global ship tracking website MarineTraffic shows that Pireaus arrived in Tanjung Pelepas at 3.59pm today and is now safely moored.

A Greece-registered bulk carrier has collided with the Malaysian Marine Department vessel MV Polaris that is anchored in the Johor new port limits earlier today.
A Greece-registered bulk carrier has collided with the Malaysian Marine Department vessel MV Polaris that is anchored in the Johor new port limits earlier today.

Singapore does not recognise the new port limits announced on October last year, claiming the disputed waters belong to the republic. Instead, it has extended its own port limits over Johor’s.

Malaysian authorities have yet to issue any statement over the incident. Malay Mail is contacting the Foreign and Transport Ministries for clarification.

MV Polaris is a civilian vessel providing safety of navigation, usually by laying buoys to mark territory or safety hazards.

The tussle over the maritime borders was still left unresolved, even after both foreign and transport ministers held bilateral talks since last month.

Instead, both sides agreed to establish a working group jointly headed by Wisma Putra Secretary-General Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob and the Permanent Secretary of Singapore’s Foreign Ministry Chee Wee Kion.

The working group was to report to the foreign ministers within two months.  

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