Disregard to TSS Malacca Strait

Report Text:

I would like to share with you an example of disregard for COLREG. My vessel was proceeding in SE bound traffic lane in Strait of Malacca TSS. At around 0830 UTC a vessel was detected by radar ahead of us and proceeding against the general traffic flow in NW’ly with AIS data of the contravening vessel – seen as target ‘A’ on target list. Our position was approxi mately 02–18N 101–49E as it can be read from radar screens. Fortunately there was no direct risk of collision. We kept monitoring the target until she was past and clear. The enforcement of regulations in Malacca Strait is still poor. VTS centres along that busy water lane do seem to ignore most of violations. The approach to requirements is still quite relaxed. The big improvement though is visible in Singapore Strait. That should happen also in Malacca Strait. I am attaching pictures presenting the situation every 5 minutes, starting at 08:31:30UTC till 8:48:30 UTC.


CHIRP contacted the third party ship owner concerning one of their fleet vessel’s apparent disregard for compliance with the COLREG, the intention was not to apportion blame but to help establish lesson learned from such reports. The company Superintendent went on board the vessel for investigation and subsequently shared the lesson learnt across their fleet. Their masters were reminded to strictly comply with COLREG to prevent similar event recurrence in the future.

CHIRP Comment

The report highlights serious and dangerous rule breaking behaviours. The ship manager’s Operations Superintendent has responded well and can be complimented on the action taken after visiting the ship. The lack of challenge by the VTS provider means there is little pressure to ensure compliance with the COLREGs and the adoption of the ordinary practice of good seamanship. Wherever the location, TSS Authorities should better advertise the assistance they can provide shipping in the area given similar situations. Reporters are also advised to report similar situations directly to VTS centres at the time if the vessels can be positively identified in order that VTS centres have the opportunity to advise the vessel to comply with requirements and avoid a continuing dangerous situation.