MARAD urges operators to register boats and become licenced

Boat operators, Captains, bowmen and owners traversing the Essequibo and Mazaruni Rivers on Thursday, February 9, 2023, were stopped and checked for documentation by officers from the Maritime Administration Department, with support from the Guyana Coast Guard, but the exercise was not meant to penalise anyone, instead, it was a compliance survey.

As vessels were stopped during transit on the rivers, the team conducted quick inspections for life vests, boat registration or licences, Captain licences, bowman badge and worthiness of the vessels, and what was unearthed were many cases of non-compliance with the Maritime Law.

Defaulting operators were advised that operating vessels without the requisite compliance is in fact a breach of the Maritime Law, which must be adhered to at all times, and errant and non-compliant operators will be fined and prosecuted accordingly.

The joint activity included the Registrar of Ships (MARAD), Gale Culley-Greene, Deputy River Navigation Officer (MARAD), Deighton Melville and Inspector (MARAD) Brian Dey along with Coast Guard Officers under the command of Senior Petty Officer Orlando Barkie.

Meanwhile, during the Bartica visit, Director of Maritime Safety, Captain Courtney McDonald and Safety Clerk, Quaislyn David took the opportunity on Thursday to conduct a training exercise for individuals who were desirous of obtaining a bowman or bow woman’s badge, a river navigation licence, a boatmaster grade 3 licence (speedboat) or a certificate of competency.

This initiative of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) will continue throughout the country, especially in riverine areas with a school population. Parents and community leaders are also advised to reach out to MARAD if they have any questions or queries on marine safety regulations.