Per international news sources, a harbour pilot from PSA Marine lost his life on 11 Feb after he fell into the waters off Kusu Island.
The pilot reportedly fell overboard as he disembarked from a tugboat to board a launch boat off Southern Islands. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) mentioned that he had put on a lifejacket then.
Following the accident, the Manpower Ministry declared that this marks the fifth workplace fatality of this year. The incident occurred close to Kusu Island, part of the Southern Islands.
Immediately, MPA, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and the Police Coast Guard promptly deployed emergency response and patrol vessels to get started with search and rescue operations.
It’s been reported that MPA activated divers to carry out a thorough underwater search for the pilot who went missing and also issued navigational safety broadcasts to surrounding vessels to support search efforts.
The Ministry of Manpower has mentioned that it has reportedly instructed the PSA Marine to have a workplace safety and health auditor in place to conduct a thorough audit of risk assessment as well as work processes.
While end-to-end investigations are ongoing, the Ministry once again reminded the essence of upholding situational awareness, exercising caution, and knowing the risks related to transfer operations.
Also, more appropriate life jackets need to be donned, and three-point contact must be maintained when disembarking or embarking between vessels at sea.
References: Safety4Sea, Channel Asia, Straits Times