In efforts to ensure safety of citizens on the waterways, the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) has officially opened a Maritime Safety centre at Bartica, GINA said.
MARAD Director of Safety John Flores was quoted by GINA as saying that the centre will aid in the decentralisation for the residents in Bartica and nearby communities, so that they, “can have access to the same services we would have in Georgetown.”
The project was initially launched when the government mandated MARAD to seek urgent measures to improve the, “safe use of the rivers in this community as a number of river related accidents seem to be a weekly occurrence.” Flores stated.
The MARAD Director General Claudette Rogers explained that after analyses of accident reports on the small boats, it was decided by the agency to urgently address the situation. The reports deemed that the primary causes were speeding, recklessness, negligence, no proper look out, non-conformance with safety standards, lack of knowledge for the international regulations for preventing collusions at sea, behaviour issues and traditions, operating under the influence, overloading, unseaworthy boats, unlicensed boats, uncertified operators, and poor maintenance of machinery, according to GINA.
MARAD has since enhanced boat designs; boats now have super structure, improved buoyancy compartments, and the establishment of Maritime safety centres in Bartica, Charity and Mabaruma, the Director General explained.