|Subject||Singapore Speed Limits Reminder
|Writer||Lee Min Jung
Thursday, 16 November 2006
<br />The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has issued new guidance on safe navigation in the Strait of Singapore<br> and adjacent waters and has reinforced its requirement that VLCCs and deep draught ships must observe a speed<br> limit of 12 knots over the ground in some areas.
<br />The circular says: “VLCCs1 and deep draught vessels navigating in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore shall, as <br>far as it is safe and practicable, proceed at a speed of not more than 12 knots over the ground in the following areas:<br> (a) At One Fathom Bank traffic separation scheme; (b) Deep-water routes in the Phillip Channel and in Singapore<br> Strait; and (c) Westbound lanes between positions 01°12.51'N, 103°52.15'E and 01°11.59'N, 103°50.21'E and between<br> position 01°11.13'N, 103°49.08'E and 01°08.65'N,103°44.30'E.”
<br />The issue of speed was raised in the 1997 prosecutions of the masters of the tankers Evoikos and Orapin Global <br>when the advisory speed limit for deep draught ships was taken to apply to VLCCs in ballast as well as laden VLCCs.<br> At the time the arbitrary imposition of a speed limit aimed at laden deep draught vessels on VLCCs in ballast, and<br> the use of speed over the ground as the reference, caused disquiet in maritime circles. Also, the MPA's definition of<br> a VLCC as being a tanker of over 150,000 dwt differs from standard industry practice in which a vessel of over 250,000<br> dwt would be regarded as a VLCC. Most VLCCs built in recent years have been around 300,000 dwt.