Social distancing: Supenaam boat operators to reduce passenger load

─Martime Administration distributes cleaning supplies to boat operators

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 26, 2020

Boating operators that traverse the route between Parika and Supenaam have agreed to enforce social distancing on their vessels to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among passengers.

“As a safety concern, we all know the COVID-19 pandemic that is going on so we are trying to reduce the number of passengers that the vessels carry,” said Joseph Mendes a boat captain with about 20 years’ experience working on the Essequibo River.

The captain told the DPI the carrying capacity of the 5-seater boats will be limited to 14 passengers and for the 6-seater vessels, a limit of 17 passengers will be imposed. These safety measures will take effect as of Friday, March 27, 2020, and will continue until further notice.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) Claudette Rogers on Thursday distributed cleaning supplies and flyers detailing good hygiene measures to the boating operators at the Parika Stelling.

Noting that MARAD has taken steps to curtail the spread of COVID-19 between both international ships and international merchant vessels that enter Guyana’s waters and MARAD officials, DG Rogers said the regulatory body is also focusing its efforts on vessels operating within the country’s coastal and internal waters.

“Our flyer clearly states that the foolish man learns from his mistakes and the wise man learns from the mistakes of others. We said, “it is your life, it is your health. It is the lives of your families and friends”, and so we are asking them to keep your social distance,” DG Rogers stressed.

“Listen to and act in accordance with the advisories from the Ministry of Public Health. We said stay healthy or face the consequences,” the Director-General continued.

While applauding the Supenaam operators for reducing their boats’ passenger-capacity, Rogers expressed hope that the Bartica speed boat operators make a similar decision.