SINGAPORE: The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) will approve a proposed ferry service between Desaru and Singapore only when it is satisfied the service can operate safely, said the authority on Sunday (Apr 3).
“The proposed ferry route passes close to shoals and reefs, is exposed to the open sea and also operates close to major sea lanes used by many large vessels,” said MPA.
“There will be additional risks during the monsoon seasons,” it added.
MPA has asked ferry operator Batam Fast Ferry to submit a navigational safety assessment for the proposed route and an emergency response plan, the authority said in a statement.
It has also asked for an attestation from the classification society that the ferries to be used are fit for the proposed voyage.
This is to ensure that the appropriate vessels are used and the necessary plans and assessments are in place to ensure the safety of passengers and crew, said MPA.
The authority received a proposal on Mar 23 from Batam Fast to operate a new service between Desaru Coast ferry terminal in Johor and Tanah Merah ferry terminal in Singapore.
The route will be operated by its subsidiary Desaru Link Ferry Services, and the journey is expected to take about two hours.
“We will grant the necessary approval for the proposed ferry service when we are assured that the proposed ferry service can operate safely,” said MPA.
It also said that it has informed the Marine Department Malaysia and Batam Fast on these safety aspects.
The Desaru Coast ferry terminal is located adjacent to the Desaru Coast project, which encompasses Hard Rock Hotel, the Adventure Waterpark, as well as premium luxury seaside resorts The Westin, Anantara and One&Only.
The terminal has immigration facilities, including an automated e-gate for efficient immigration screening during peak travel periods. It is also able to process 300 passengers at any given time.
For a start, the terminal hopes to serve two round trips from Singapore per day, from Thursdays to Sundays. There will also be one round trip per day from Mondays to Wednesdays, based on market demand.
Source: Channel News Asia