Search Abandoned for Barge Survivors, 300 Vessels Helped
After nine days of search efforts involving more than 300 vessels and 2 aircraft covering an area larger than 1,500 square kilometres, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) terminated the search and rescue operations for missing persons from the capsized Bolivia-flagged barge Heng Hong 168 at 1700hrs (Singapore time) today. The barge capsized on 19 December 2013 in Singapore waters about three nautical miles west of Horsburgh Lighthouse.
Over 300 commercial vessels assisted in the search, and MPA will continue to inform vessels passing through the vicinity of the incident site to keep a lookout for the four persons that remain unaccounted for.
Of the eleven crew members reported to be on board Heng Hong 168 when MPA was notified of the incident on 19 Dec 2013, six crew members were rescued on 19 Dec 2013 and one crew member was rescued on 22 Dec 2013 in the course of the SAR operations. The identity of the body recovered on 24 December 2013 is being verified by the Indonesian authorities and it is still not clear whether this is one of the missing crew members from Heng Hong 168.
MPA expresses its appreciation to the following for their assistance in the SAR operations:
1. Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore
2. Police Coast Guard Singapore (PCG)
3. Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF)
4. Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)
5. Kesatuan Penjagaan Laut dan Pantai, Indonesia(KPLP)
6. Maritime Rescue Sub-Centre (MRSC) Tanjung Pinang, Indonesia
7. Tanjung Uban Port Administration Office, Indonesia
8. Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
9. Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Putra Jaya , Malaysia
Royal Malaysian Navy
10. Resolve Salvage & Fire (Asia) Pte Ltd
11. Master and crew of the 307 passing commercial vessels that provided assistance