The need for all sea
transport operators including speedboats, tug, barges and other marine drivers to ensure full compliance on safety rules and regulations while on board has again been emphasised.
A safety expert and chief executive officer of Adamco Marine Equipment Services Limited, Chief Adams Megbelo made the assertion in a chat with our correspondent in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
Megbelo said it was on record that most accidents on sea were caused by operators who did not obey simple safety rules while on board, and at such, many lives and properties lost.
He frowned that some marine operators drive at night without light, while some were in the influence of alcohol or drugs.
He further noted with dismay that some did not acquire formal training in marine boat operation as they only had the opportunity or found themselves in the business for their livelihood.
The expert said that the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN)and other unions and agencies were to ensure that marine operators complied with safety rules and regulations, rather than being after the membership and its financial gains to the bodies.
According to him, training and re-training of marine operators should be emphasised, use of life jackets by everybody on board a vessel or boats made compulsory and defaulters made to face the full wrath of the law, as well as the use of rickety engines and boats and other sea going vessels should be discouraged or sanctioned according to the laid down laws by International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Megbelo however called on all the stakeholders including the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to create an enabling way towards mariners realising the importance of safety on the waterways in Rivers State and Nigeria in general.
He further appealed to NIWA to improve the inland waterways navigation, as well as advised all mariners to obey safety rules by wearing a life jacket before boarding a boat, operators to avoid overloading, boats above 10 years life span be sanctioned, certified and trained boat operators should operate terries and boats, consumption of alcohol, over speeding and always be safety conscious.