Broomes calls for stronger enforcement of Maritime Laws in the interior

GINA, GUYANA, Monday, January 30, 2017

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources, Simona Broomes, will be pushing for the full enforcement of regulations guiding travel on waterways.

Last week, the Minister was forced to call a stop to a boat trip along the Upper Mazaruni River after heavy fog reduced visibility and increased the chances of an accident.

Minister within the Ministry of Natural Resources Simona Broomes looks on at the heavy fog in the docked boat.

Broomes said there needs to be greater enforcement of Maritime Laws particularly for those miners and residents who use the waterways to travel to remote locations.

“I’m sure that there is something there which will prevent one travelling in the river where they can’t see …either by fog or rain, but I’m going to strongly recommend that Maritime enforce those that they have and it must become a general practice,” Broomes told the Government Information Agency (GINA).

Broomes noted that while the boat her team was travelling in stopped at the Bartica Police Station, the police at the station never turned up to make any checks. She described it as a “free for all just stop, pass through, continue business as usual.”

The Minister said she was disappointed with the manner in which vessels

A boat with miners and supplies traversing the Mazaruni River

were being monitored while traversing the waterways into the interior. “One of the recommendations also is that someone should be working early in the morning to ensure that these boats that pass through at this time when they check into Bartica that they are not allowed to leave until it is cleared,” Minister Broomes said.

Broomes said she will raise the issue with Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson, who has ministerial responsibility for the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD).

Meanwhile, Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), Director of Maritime Safety, John Flores, explained that there currently is no way of determining what the weather conditions will be like for any given day.

However, Flores noted that boats are not permitted to travel before sunrise or after sunset. Additionally, he said that there are monitors who work daily, checking to ensure that all boats meet safety requirements which vary for vessels that carry passenger and oil, particularly into the interior.


By: Tiffny Rhodius