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Harbour pilot from PSA Marine dies after falling into waters off Singapore's Kusu Island

This is the fifth workplace fatality of 2023, says the Manpower Ministry.

Harbour pilot from PSA Marine dies after falling into waters off Singapore's Kusu Island

Sea view from Kusu Island with a ship and boat. (File photo: iStock/crystaltmc)

SINGAPORE: A 29-year-old harbour pilot from PSA Marine died on Saturday (Feb 11) after falling into waters off Kusu Island. It is the fifth workplace fatality of 2023.

The pilot fell overboard while disembarking from a tugboat to board a launch boat off the Southern Islands, said the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), adding that he was wearing a lifejacket at the time.

The authority's marine safety control centre was alerted to the incident at about 2.50am.

MPA, the Police Coast Guard and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) deployed patrol and emergency response vessels to conduct search and rescue operations.

"MPA also activated divers to conduct an underwater search for the missing pilot and issued navigational safety broadcasts to the surrounding vessels to support the search efforts," the agency added.

In response to CNA's queries, SCDF and the police said the incident took place near Kusu Island, which is part of the Southern Islands.

SCDF added that it deployed two marine vessels and conducted a surface search at the location.

The pilot's body was recovered at about 11.30am and taken to the Police Coast Guard base on Pulau Brani.

A harbour pilot's work involves boarding vessels to navigate them through congested waters.

The Ministry of Manpower said it has instructed PSA Marine to appoint a workplace safety and health auditor to conduct a thorough audit of its risk assessment and work processes.

"Workers moving between vessels should keep good situational awareness, exercise extreme caution, and make sure they are aware of the risks of the transfer operation," said the ministry.

"Also, appropriate life jackets should be donned, and three-point contact must be maintained when embarking or disembarking between vessels at sea."

MPA said investigations are ongoing.

CNA has contacted PSA Marine for more information.

Who's responsible for workplace safety?

Source: CNA/gs


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