The Rivers State
Ministry of Transport has been called upon to promulgate a law to enforce the use of life jackets by all marine operators, including passengers while on board a boat.
A marine safety expert, Mr Jhozaar Wakama, made the called in a chat with The Tide in Port Harcourt on Monday.
Wakama said the measure would help safe the lives of both the boat operators and other occupants in case of any boat mishap and other marine accidents.
He opined that some boat operators do not think of the safety of their passengers, as they board the boat without life jackets, adding that no matter how experience the person, life jackets would keep the person afloat for some days in case of any accident before rescue team could come to their aid.
The mariner is of the view when the law is promulgated, it should be that no life jacket, no entry of boat, so that any one found wanting could be arrested and made the face the full wrath of the law, because life lost cannot be replaced.
Wakama called for seminars and workshops to enlightened water transporters on the need to put on life vest while on board, and that government should also give safety of marine boat operators priority attention by assisting them with safety kits and creating a body to ensure safety rules on waterways are adhered to the later.
“As long as you wear the safety jacket, you will stay afloat in case of any boat mishap, and the use of life vest is to forestall cases of deaths when mishaps occur. So safety should be a major concern for every boat operator in all parts of the country including Rivers State.
Vehicles drivers use seat belt for their safety in case of accidents, so why should boat drivers ignore the use of life vests for the safety of their marine passengers, he opined.