Wed | Dec 1, 2021

Recreational boats are to remain ashore on no-movement days – MAJ

Published:Saturday | October 16, 2021 | 10:43 AM
Director of Safety, Environment and Certification at the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Captain Steven Spence - Contributed photo.

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) is reminding holidaymakers that all recreational boats are to remain ashore on the no-movement days as designated under the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA) for the Heroes Day holiday weekend.

Director for Safety, Environment and Certification at the MAJ, Captain Steven Spence, said that this holiday is different based on the no-movement order.

He noted that, normally, people would “put to sea” for the long weekend and go to the offshore cays, “but boats are not permitted to go to sea on Sunday and Monday. These are no-movement days, and no movement means just that – no movement”.

Spence pointed out, however, that on Saturday, movement is permitted.

“We expect our boaters to be prepared and to look after their own personal safety. If patrons will be using boats, we expect them to ask to see the boat's safety certificate, ask to see the safety equipment, ensure that life jackets are given to them, and ensure that the operators are certified,” the MAJ director said.

“You may also ask to see the coxswain certificate, ensure that the boats have life-saving devices and have radios fitted, so they can communicate with the marine police or the Coast Guard if they have safety issues at sea,” he noted further.

Spence also called for boat captains to be vigilant in ensuring the safety of all on board.

He encouraged patrons to confirm that the vessels are registered and that the operators are licensed before boarding the vessels.

“The coxswain licence is normally displayed, some around the neck on the lanyard, and if it is not displayed, the travelling public can ask to see it,” he said.

“There is a seagoing safety certificate that the operators should have. It is to be displayed in a noticeable position, although that may not be the case if it is an open vessel. It should, however, be on board,” Spence indicated.

He said that the safety certificate lists the conditions of operation, including weather conditions the number of persons who are allowed to be on board and the number of life jackets.

“The seagoing safety certificate indicates the type of vessel, and it will specify if it is a passenger vessel or a fishing vessel, which is allowed to take persons to engage in fishing,” he noted further.

Spence said that the crew has a responsibility to ensure that the passengers are fully aware of all safety procedures and that a safety brief is to be carried out by the captain before the vessel leaves the place of embarkation.

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