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Last Updated:  Friday, 4 April, 2003, 07:28 GMT 08:28 UK
Singapore collision due to 'error'
RSS Courageous after the incident
The rear of the Singaporean vessel was crushed
Human error was to blame for a fatal collision between a naval vessel and container ship in January, Singapore authorities said on Friday.

The Singapore naval vessel RSS Courageous turned into the wrong shipping lane and had its rear crushed by the Dutch-registered ANL Indonesia.

A senior director of Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority told a news briefing: "The principal cause of the collision was the errors of judgment in assessing the situation... on the part of the RSS Courageous".

Four servicewomen were killed in the incident, which was described as the worst naval accident in Singapore's history.

Investigators from the Maritime and Ports Authority, announcing the findings of a three-month enquiry, said radar records showed the Courageous moving in front of the container ship, then trying to speed up to avoid a collision.

"It tried to go as fast as possible so that it would miss," one investigator said.

The RSS Courageous, a 500-ton Singaporean anti-submarine patrol boat, had its rear shaved off and engine room crushed.

The ANL Indonesia was en route to South Korea and sustained only minor damage.

The body of one servicewoman has still not been found.

The findings of the investigation will now be passed to the state coroner and public prosecutor, who must decide whether to take further action.

Three dead in Singapore collision
06 Jan 03  |  Asia-Pacific

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