On 20 May 2014, a pamphlet entitled Safe Passage: The Straits of Singapore and Malacca was officially launched at the 93rd session of the IMO Maritime Safety Committee meeting currently taking place in London. This safe passage pamphlet is the result of an initiative pursued within the Cooperative Mechanism, a framework established in 2007 in which the littoral states of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and users of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) pool their respective resources and expertise in an effort to enhance navigational safety and protection of the marine environment in the SOMS.
SOMS is a vital sea line of communication, much used by ships voyaging from West to East. Safe navigation and the prevention of collision are crucial in such a busy strait used for international navigation. The avoidance of collisions and other accidents also ensures that the marine environment in the SOMS is better protected.
The Safe Passage pamphlet was first proposed by international shipping association BIMCO in 2012. It is intended to be a handy tool for users of the Straits regarding unique navigational considerations and the importance of adhering to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs).
The Safe Passage pamphlet presents useful digests on collision prevention measures, night signals for vessels crossing the Traffic Separation Scheme in the Singapore Strait, local rules for ships transiting the Straits, advice on anchoring and climactic effects on navigation such as haze conditions and heavy rain.
The Safe Passage pamphlet is now available free of charge, as a PDF download, from the Cooperative Mechanism website here. Users of the Straits are encouraged to obtain a copy.
Since its inception in 2007, the Co-operative Mechanism has coordinated many projects to promote safety of navigation and environmental protection. The completion and launch of the Safe Passage pamphlet complements the many good systems and tools that have been put in place by the Co-operative Mechanism. It also underscores the close co-operation between the three Littoral States of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and organizations representing the users of the SOMS such as BIMCO, INTERTANKO and the ICS.