SINGAPORE, June 16 – Oil has washed up along the coast of several beaches in Singapore, including those on Sentosa island and in East Coast Park, a day after a dredger hit a bunker vessel at Pasir Panjang Terminal. 

The beachfront at East Coast Park – from area B to H – will be closed until further notice to facilitate clean-up efforts, authorities said on Saturday evening (Jun 15).

The jetty and Rocky Shore at Labrador Nature Reserve will also be closed.

While Sentosa’s beaches at Palawan, Siloso and Tanjong remain open to the public, swimming and sea activities are not allowed for the time being. 

The beach closures were announced in a joint media statement by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the National Environment Agency (NEA), the National Parks Board (NParks) and Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC).

“Due to the tidal current, the treated oil has landed along shorelines including Sentosa, Labrador Nature Reserve, Southern Islands, Marina South Pier and East Coast Park,” they said.

“There are no signs of oil slick within Sister’s Islands Marine Park but oil sheen was observed in the surrounding waters.”

Members of the public are advised to stay away from the affected areas. 

The oil slick had spread from a spillage that occurred on Friday at Pasir Panjang Terminal, which is on the mainland several kilometres west of the resort island of Sentosa.

A Netherlands-flagged dredger hit a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel at about 2.20pm, causing some oil from the damaged cargo tank on board the vessel to spill into the water.

Eighteen response craft have been deployed to contain and clean up the spill, said the joint statement. 

“Close to 1,500 metres of container booms have been deployed and more will be laid over the next few days to prevent further spread of oil onto the shore, and facilitate the recovery of the trapped oil off the affected shorelines and lagoons to prevent them from going back to sea,” it added.

SDC said it was first alerted to instances of oil spillage in the waters around Palawan Beach at 9pm on Friday. At 7am on Saturday, the oil slick had spread to the other beaches, as well as to Sentosa Cove which is home to several condominiums.

A clean-up operation is underway, SDC said, adding that its priority was to minimise the impact on Sentosa’s waters and surrounding wildlife.


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