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COLLISIONS AT SEA: ALL IN THE EVIDENCE?

Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly

COLLISIONS AT SEA: ALL IN THE EVIDENCE? Stephen Girvin * The Dream Star The Singapore High Court recently handed down judgment in The Dream Star . 1 Collisions in the congested Singapore Strait 2 and in the Malacca Straits are, regrettably, not unheard of 3 but, as is the case elsewhere, liability is usually settled between the parties and their respective hull insurers and P&I Clubs. Collision cases, therefore, rarely go to trial in Singapore 4 and, indeed, are less common now in the Admiralty Court in * MPA Professor of Maritime Law, Director, Centre for Maritime Law, National University of Singapore. 1. [2017] SGHC 220; [2017] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 538 (Belinda Ang Saw Ean J). 2. See Singapore Port Marine Circular (No 13, 1999): “The Singapore Strait is a relatively narrow and a busy waterway used by all types of vessels including Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs), ferries, steel barges under tow and fishing vessels”. 3. Cf the collisions between the destroyer USS John S McCain and chemical/oil tanker Alnic MC , on 21 August 2017 (Wei Sze Tan, “US warship collides with oil tanker near Singapore”, Lloyd’s List , 13 September 2017) and an oil products tanker, the Kartika Segara , and a barge, the JBB De Rong 19 , on 13 September 2017 (Wei Sze Tan, “Five missing after collision between tanker and dredger near Singapore”, Lloyd’s List , 13 September 2017). 4. See eg The Lesnoy [1979] SGHC 12; [1979–1980] SLR(R) 106 (collision between a vessel underway and a vessel moored at anchorage); The Teng He [2000] SGHC 51; [2000] 1 SLR(R) 626 (collision between a vessel and seismic cables extended from another vessel). 28

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