Strong warning issued to boat owners

A strong warning has been issued to small boat owners and operators to be mindful of the dangers they will put themselves into while going out at sea during these bad weather conditions.

The National Maritime Safety Authority CEO, Paul Unas, said this warning particularly goes to those in the Southern Region as current wind speeds of up to 80km per hour and waves of up to 4 metres are predicted over the next 7 days.

Unas issued the warning after receiving reports of several boating incidents over the weekend.

Unas said small boat owners and passengers must take extra precaution and may need to reconsider planning boat trips during this time.

“Safety is the responsibility of the boat owners, operators and passengers.”

He said sea voyages should not occur in severe weather conditions, boats should not be overloaded and safety equipment and extra fuel should always be carried.

“No matter what laws and standards are put in place, people will continue to be lost at sea if dinghies continue to be overloaded, run out of fuel, travel in bad weather, consumption of alcohol by boat operators or passengers, etc.

“These bad decisions that directly cause loss of life at sea are made by the operators of the dinghies and the passengers who decide to travel with them,” Unas adds. 

NMSA reminds the governments of the 15 maritime provinces of their responsibilities to ensure a high level maritime safety is enforced for people who rely on the sea for their livelihood and sustenance.

Charmaine Poriambep