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TODAY20: Navy ship collision off Pedra Branca (Jan 4, 2003)

Over the past two decades, TODAY has played an active role in public discourse in Singapore. To mark our 20th anniversary in November, we are re-publishing 20 of our most impactful articles over the years.

TODAY broke the news in 2003 of what remains one of the worst naval mishaps in Singapore post-independence.

TODAY broke the news in 2003 of what remains one of the worst naval mishaps in Singapore post-independence.

Over the past two decades, TODAY has played an active role in public discourse in Singapore. To mark our 20th anniversary in November, we are re-publishing 20 of our most impactful articles over the years.

WHAT HAPPENED

  • TODAY broke the news in 2003 of what remains one of the worst naval mishaps in Singapore post-independence
  • RSS Courageous, an anti-submarine patrol vessel, collided with a merchant ship
  • At least eight sailors were thought to be injured at the time

WHAT NEXT

  • After a nine-day search-and-rescue operation, divers pulled out from the wreckage the bodies of three female sailors. The body of a fourth female sailor was never found
  • 2 Republic of Singapore Navy officers were charged and later found guilty of negligence and fined S$10,000 and S$8,000 respectively
  • During the trial, an expert witness said the Navy vessel broke maritime shipping rules and demonstrated poor seamanship and poor situation awareness in the last few moments before it crashed into the merchant ship

 

SINGAPORE — At least eight Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) servicemen were injured when an anti-submarine patrol vessel was involved in a collision with a merchant ship off Pedra Branca late on Friday.

The RSS Courageous and the unidentified merchant ship collided about 1km off the Horsburgh Lighthouse at 11.50pm.

Eight of the 44 sailors on board the RSS Courageous were injured and evacuated. Nobody on the merchant ship was injured.

The right side of the naval vessel was damaged. At press time, the fate of the merchant vessel was not known.

Navy divers worked overtime to remove water that had begun to seep into the ship to prevent it from sinking.

They also assisted with the evacuation of personnel onboard.

Assisting the RSN was the Police Coast Guard. They helped to transport the injured naval personnel to Pedra Branca, from where the sailors were taken to mainland Singapore for treatment.

The servicemen were believed to have suffered head and neck injuries.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson confirmed the accident early on Saturday morning, saying that it was awaiting details.

The RSS Courageous was the RSN’s best anti-submarine patrol vessel in the Singapore Armed Forces’ Best Unit competition for 2000-2001.

Related topics

TODAYonline RSS Courageous Republic of Singapore Navy Pedra Branca

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