A hydrographic survey of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore (SOMS) has been launched by the three littoral states – Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore – and the Malacca Straits Council of Japan to help handle the ever increasing volume of ships transitting the busy region.
This initiative was one of the key recommendations that arose from a study conducted by OMC International – a maritime engineering consultant – commissioned by the littoral states in 2013 on real-time monitoring of under keel clearance in the SOMS. The data from the survey will be used to produce large-scale Electronic Navigational Charts (ENCs) covering five areas in the straits critical to navigation. This will complement existing ENCs of the SOMS and will provide the shipping industry and authorities with high resolution bathymetry information relating to the depth of waters. Such information would enable better voyage planning and greater navigational safety while sailing in these areas.
Singapore’s Chief Hydrographer and Director (Port Services) of MPA, Dr Parry Oei said, “Results from the survey would help update charts and also allow authorities and users of the Straits to have a better understanding of the seabed topology and its surrounding for safer and more efficient passage planning.”