Tue | Mar 19, 2019

Audit of small passenger vessels completed

Published:Wednesday | January 16, 2019 | 3:08 PM
File photo

An audit of small passenger vessels that operate in the Port Royal/Palisadoes and Portmore environs has found that the majority are unregistered and illegal. 

The audit, which was completed on January 15, was conducted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica at the request of Transport Minister Robert Montague.

The request was made following the boating incident in December 2018 where a canoe transporting 13 persons sank resulting in the deaths of two persons.

Here are the findings.

* Approximately 82 vessels were found in the two areas.

* While the majority of the vessels seen by the MAJ were documented as fishing vessels with the Fisheries Division, some were not documented at all, while some were laid up and not operating when the exercise was carried out.

* Only three were registered and certified by the MAJ to carry passengers. Therefore the majority of the vessels would have been operating illegally as passenger carrying vessels.

Way forward

* Additional safety signage will be implemented.

* Safety sensitisation seminars which the MAJ had planned are to be brought forward to Thursday, January 17, 2019, and the first such seminar should target Port Royal and Portmore operators.

* The MAJ will also inspect and target the undocumented vessels in the coming weeks to ensure that they are seaworthy and will also seek to ensure that those owners who wish to carry passengers must have their vessels so certified.

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