Training and retraining of speedboat operators in Rivers State has again been stressed.
A mariner and Chief Executive Officer of Ebitex Marine Services, Wariopusenibo Gabriel Dan-Jumbo, made the assertion in a chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Dan-Jumbo said such regular training would give the speedboat drivers an update on the dos and don’ts in marine operations.
According to him, such persons have little or no knowledge about the safety tips of their passengers and how to manouvre a boat in case of high wave or any danger on sea.
He reiterated that the training would enable the speedboat drivers to acquire more experience in the marine industry for safety of lives and property, and appealed to the executive officers of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), speedboat unit at the various waterfronts to ensure that they organize such training for their members.
The Wariopusenibo said the importance of the training for the speedboat drivers cannot be over-emphasised, as their counterparts in road transport were organizations on the current relevant laws on the road.
On the wrecks littered within the waterways of the state, Dan-Jumbo said the authorities have done noting as regards this all important sea safety programme, adding that it is unfortunate that after several appeals to the authorities, the wrecks are still posing a great danger to the speedboat operators.
According to the mariner, the situation is worst at night as unsuspected boat operators bump into such wrecked and abandoned boats that have been causing boat accidents and loss of lives and property, saying it is time for all boat owners to fight for their rights, since they registered formally with the authorities and also pay their dues regularly.
“For effective navigation and safety of passengers on the sea, there is need for training and re-training of speedboat operators, as it will also serve as their certificate to pilot a boat effectively for the safety of all,” he posited.