Jan 19, 2015 News
– Highlights increased night-time speed boat operations among achievements
The Maritime Administration Department, (MARAD) recorded 23 marine fatalities in 2014; the department recorded 43 river deaths the previous year. MARAD released this information as part of its yearend report on Friday.
MARAD noted that the deaths were as a result of boat accidents, incidents and piracy attacks on the high seas. According to the breakdown provided by the Department, eight boat accidents resulted in four deaths, 16 incidents resulted in 12 deaths and four incidents involving pirates amounted to nine marine deaths, last year.
In 2013, 17 persons died as result of boat accidents, 20 as a result of boat incidents and six as a result of piracy.
MARAD said that Preliminary investigation into the marine mishaps revealed that most accidents were caused by unlicenced boats and operators. In this regard, MARAD examined and issued 26 certificates to boat operators operating in areas beyond Bartica as well as 21 licences to bowmen operating in Annai. Several vessels were also inspected in those areas.
Last year, the department issued a number of licences and certificates for the various categories of vessels; 73 licenses were granted to fishing vessels, 58 issued for Cargo vessels, 234 licenses/certificates issued to passenger vessels, 73 certificates issued to persons owning pleasure vessels (used for personal, family, and sportsmanlike recreation) while 37 licenses were granted to vessel transporting passengers as well as cargo.
The Department also emphasized that there was continuous training of Maritime personnel in 2014; Cadets officers have since completed the Boatmaster Grade III Exams which is the first phase of their exams. The Cadets are currently engaged in the Mate’s training which represents the second phase of the programme. This training is expected to be completed by April 2015.
In addition, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) in collaboration with MARAD held three training programmes for Port facility officers and issued certificates at its completion.
In an effort to promote safety, MARAD also distributed 1,008 life jackets to passengers and boat operators traversing the riverain areas in all ten regions of the country.
MARAD officials also conducted sensitisation and promoted safety awareness session to several schools during the course of last year. Signs with safety tips were also placed at the various Stellings.
In an effort to reduce the congestion along the East Bank Demerara carriageway and the crossing of the Demerara Harbour Bridge, the Georgetown/Vreed-en-Hoop night operation was introduced. The service was introduced in 2013.To date more than 175,000 persons have utilized the service. The department announced that three buoys were placed in the Essequibo River in the vicinity of Chalmers and Sting Ray Crossings.
This year, MARAD has committed to continue sensitizing school children and the public about the importance of wearing life jackets and for boats to use horns, whistles and sound signalling apparatus while operating on the water ways.
Last year, boat owners are required to submit photographs of their vessels for the purpose of registration and licensing. This new requirement is designed to enhance the safety standards within MARAD.
With effect from January 1, 2015, vessels operating in Guyana will be required to be fitted with a whistle or any other sound signalling appliance capable of producing the prescribed blasts. Vessels are also required to be fitted with navigational lights and shall be exhibited from sunset to sunrise and from sunrise to sunset during conditions of restricted visibility.
The department will also continue dredging of the main ships channel and other facilities within the Harbours of Georgetown. The mouth of the Cuyuni River Zone was surveyed by the Hydrographic surveyors for the mining Company Sandspring Inc. Acquire a modern portable Echo Sounder for the Hydrographic Section.
Among the projections for this year is also docking of vessels operating under the department; the M. L Thompson and M.L Kakabelli; both vessels are scheduled for repairs.
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