Two foreign-registered merchant vessels collided 32 nautical miles off Tompok Utara near Pengerang, Kota Tinggi last night, causing an oil spill. Pic by NSTP/ courtesy of Marine Department

JOHOR BARU: Two foreign-registered merchant vessels collided 32 nautical miles off Tompok Utara near Pengerang, Kota Tinggi last night, causing an oil spill.

Johor Health, Environment, Education and Information Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said there were no injuries involving crew members during the 10.30pm incident, which involved Panama-registered oil/chemical tanker Chemroad Mega and Marshall Islands-registered Sinica Graeca bulk carrier.

"The (Royal Malaysian Navy fast attack craft-missile's) vessel KD Pendekar received information on Chemroad Mega colliding with Sinica Graeca vessel on July 17 at 10.30pm.

"The position of the Chemroad Mega and Sinica Graeca were at 01 28.50 N, 104 30.30 E, 3.2 nautical miles northeast off Tompok Utara.

"Both vessels are now anchored at a location seven nautical miles southeast of Tompok Utara," said Ayub in a statement today.

He said crew on board Chemroad Mega and Sinica Graeca told authorities that there were no injury among crew members and the extent of damage has not been evaluated.

"Agents from both vessels arrived at the anchored location on Aug 18 to assess the damage on the vessel," said Ayub in a statement.

He said the Johor Department of Environment (DoE) has instructed owners of both vessels to post a total of RM5 million in bond pending completion of the oil spill clean-up works.

"The Johor DoE instructed the owners to post RM5 million in bonds to the government for both vessels.

"The two vessels will be detained until the bond is handed over and immediate action is taken for clean-up of the oil spill," said Ayub.

He said authorities were investigating the cause of the collision, adding that checks were being made on the extent of the oil spill, which was likely flowing northward to Pulau Tioman.

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