Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Montague calls for swifter audits of marine vessels

Published:Tuesday | January 1, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Transport Minister Robert Montague

Transport Minister Robert Montague has asked the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) to fast-track the ongoing audits being carried out on marine vessels operating islandwide and to also complete, within two weeks, an audit relating to Palisadoes vessels.

Further, Montague has appealed to the coast guard and Marine Police to increase checks on all vessels in order to ensure that they are in compliance with required valid MAJ documentation and also meet the requisite safety standards, including MAJ-approved life jackets for adults and children.

The minister's appeal comes against the backdrop of last Thursday's incident where a boat carrying 13 persons capsized off the coast of Port Royal in Kingston, resulting in multiple injuries and two fatalities.

Montague has since expressed his regret over the incident and extended his condolences to the families of the victims.

The minister, who held discussions with the MAJ over the weekend, also requested that additional resources be pooled to post adequate safety signage advising persons travelling to and from Lime Cay and other surrounding areas.

He has also asked that the MAJ bring forward a safety sensitisation and documentation workshop in 2019.

Montague pleaded with the public to ensure that the vessels on which they embark are properly licensed and equipped to transport the number of passengers as listed in the safety certificates.