In light of a recent article regarding illegal boat operators appearing in a section of the media with complaints allegedly from the Bartica Speed Boat Association, the Management of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) stated that it has a zero-tolerance for all forms of illegal boat operations and would normally address such matters forthwith.
In a press release issued today, MARAD noted that the Water Taxis (Speedboats) are licensed to operate on specific services. “Therefore, those operating beyond their geographic limits are doing so illegally. MARAD and the Bartica Speed Boat Association have monitors at the Bartica and Parika terminals whose duties include, interalia, reporting on any such illegal operation to the police, and to ensure that the boats and their crews operate safely and orderly”.
“Whenever the respective senior officers receive information about boats operating out of their designated area, the matter is investigated and the appropriate action is taken. Based upon the nature of the circumstance, the Department may initially suspend the boats and or the operator’s license; or the police are asked to charge and prosecute through the court system”, the statement added.
However, MARAD noted that the Department does in extreme cases give permission for a boat to operate outside the stated limits on its license. “This very rare intervention is usually done when there is an accumulation of passengers and insufficient boats at either terminal. In such instances, the monitor with the approval of a senior officer will give such permission”.
Members of the public are also urged to report any illegal or unlawful activity on the waterways by making contact with the Department on telephone numbers: 225-7330 or 226-3356.