Sunvoice

EDITORIAL: Shipowners On Notice As People Travel To Maritime Islands

Many people working on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu will be travelling to the maritime is­lands to celebrate Christmas and New Year. For shipowners the festive season brings good busi­ness.
19 Dec 2018 12:08
EDITORIAL: Shipowners  On Notice  As People Travel To Maritime  Islands

Many people working on Viti Levu and Vanua Levu will be travelling to the maritime is­lands to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

For shipowners the festive season brings good busi­ness.

The two major shipping companies, Goundar Ship­ping Limited and Patterson Brothers Shipping Com­pany Limited, have said they are fully booked.

All other ships have been busy taking passengers to the islands.

For all shipping companies, heed the advice from the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) on overload­ing.

They should be reminded that their passengers want to safely and happily reach their final destination and meet their families.

MSAF wants to ensure that shipowners and passen­gers to have safe festive season

They will closely monitor passenger ships this festive season to ensure there is no overloading or any other breaches of maritime legislations which endanger passengers and crew.

Overloading of passenger ships is an offence and is unsafe and Shipowners/operators/masters who en­gage in this practice are liable to face criminal charges and administrative action in accordance with the Mar­itime Transport Decree, 2013.

All ships must ensure they have all the required life-saving equipment such as life jackets and life rafts and passengers and crew are made aware about how to ac­cess them during emergencies.

Non-compliance with the maritime legislation could result in criminal prosecution, suspension or cancella­tion of master’s certificate of competency, detention of the ship and up to $100,000 in fines.

Members of the public who are travelling to outer is­lands are urged to heed safety rules and precautionary measures when travelling on inter-island ships

Shipowners should be more concerned with the safe­ty of their passengers instead of getting more profits out of these trips.

In their certificate, it outlines the safety requirement a ship must always comply with including the number of passengers it may carry.

Safety of passengers, vessels and crews are of utmost importance and MSAF will make sure all vessels are safe.

If any person or passengers find any ships’ activities to be suspicious that violates safety (e.g overloading, vessel leakage, drunkenness of seafarers on board or influence of drugs, etc or spillage of oil waste on sea) they can report such matters to MSAF for investiga­tion and action.

Overloading a boat can, indeed, be dangerous.

People who operate small boats should keep within the maximums stated on the capacity plate and, if it’s windy or choppy, stay well under those limits.

To make capsizing even less likely, MSAF recom­mends that loads on small boats be distributed evenly to keep the boat balanced. Standing in small boats, even changing sitting positions, can raise the centre of gravity and make the boat less stable.

Remember it is always good to reach your destination rather then not reaching it at all.

Have a safe travelling this festive season and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all.

Feedback: maikab@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: