ESSEQUIBO ISLAND - As part of its ongoing maritime safety campaign, the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) on Friday December 6, 2013 distributed a number of life-jackets to some several schools in Region Number 3, Essequibo Islands - West Demerara.
A team from MARAD visited the areas of Hogg Island, Saxacalli, Lanaballi, Aliki and Bonasika in an effort to promote safety on the waterways and specifically to ensure that the children of those areas are safe while traversing the river.
Head teacher of the Northern Hogg Island Primary School, Benedict Persaud, who received the 20 life jackets on behalf of the students of the school promised to ensure that all students wear same when traversing the waterways. He expressed his thanks to MARAD and said the gesture was a good initiative.
At the Saxacalli Primary and Nursery School, the MARAD team also distributed 20 life jackets to the students of that school. Accepting the jackets on behalf of the students, was teacher Ms Carlene Williams who said the students never wore life jackets while travelling the river and they now have an opportunity to be safely attired. She further reiterated that she will ensure that the jackets are continuously worn by the students.
Headmistress of the Lanaballi Primary and Nursery School, Ann Allicock, received 20 life jackets for her school and said this is a timely gesture by MARAD as she was worried about the lives of the children being endangered while travelling on the waterways, "I want to thank the team and MARAD, and will ensure that the children always wear their jackets while on the boats, the timing is very appropriate."
The teachers at the Aliki Primary, Nursery and Secondary School were also very appreciative of the visit by the team from MARAD as they received the 20 life jackets to be distributed to the students of the school.
Acting Headmaster of the Lower Bonasika Primary and Nursery School, Kapil Dave Ramsammy, received 20 life jackets for the students of the school. He expressed gratitude to MARAD for their kind gesture, "We will like to thank MARAD for this initiative and for considering the safety of our children while travelling by boat."
In keeping with the message of promoting safety while traversing the waterways, the Maritime Administration Department plans to further expand the life jacket distribution program to other regions in Guyana.
Muritaro, an Amerindian village which is located on the upper Demerara River in Region 10, is still mourning the death of villager Captain Dale Duggin who died in a boat accident on Sunday. Captain Thomas took the opportunity to express sympathy to relatives of the deceased on behalf of MARAD nd promised to conduct a thorough investigation of the accident.
In a continued effort to promote safety on the waterways, 20 life jackets were handed over to Headmistress of the Muritaro Primary School, Clorene Bowen. The life jackets which are for children will cater mostly for those who traverse by boat on their way to school, and will also help to enhance safety on the waterways.
Mrs Bowen thanked the team for its visit as well as the donation of life jackets and promised to have the children wear same whilst traversing the waterways.
The Maritime Administration Department will continue the distribution of life jackets and promote the message of safety on the waterways throughout Guyana focusing mostly on the hinterland communities, all in an effort to curb the recent upsurge of river accidents.
KINGSTON – “Any loss of life at sea is a blow to us,” announced Claudette Rogers, the Director General of Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) on the tragic death of a boat captain on October 11.
Carey Persaud, 49, lost his life during a boating mishap in the vicinity of Kamaira Range, Cuyuni River, Region Seven.
Ms. Rogers expressed her condolences to Mr. Persaud’s family in their time of grief.
She is also reminding individuals to adhere to safe boating practices by wearing life jackets to observe the rules of the sea.
The incident is currently under investigation.
KINGSTOWN - In observance of World Maritime Day 2013, the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD), embarked on a sanitation drive which targeted boat operators at the Georgetown and Parika Stellings.
Marine Cadets distributed hygienic kits to boat captains from the Georgetown/Vreed-en-Hoop, Parika/Supenaam, Parika /Bartica and Parika/Wakenamm Stellings on September 26.
A total of 35 cleaning supplies were distributed to Captains for the cleaning of life jackets and the sanitization of their boats.
Over time, passengers have been complaining about dirty life jackets they have to contend with while traversing the waterways.
MARAD's staff also encouraged boat operators to continue to enforce safety, and distributed flyers on boating safety to captains also urging passengers to continue wearing their life jackets correctly at all times.
KINGSTON - A team from the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) headed by River Navigation Officer Michael Tennant, visited Region #7 to distribute life jackets to schools several communities in the Bartica community.
In an effort to promote safety on the waterways, 20 life jackets were distributed to the village of Riversview for the school children of the Holi Name Nursery and Secondary schools on August 27.
While receiving the life jackets on behalf of the community, Toshao, Melina Pollard said the life jackets will help a lot in ensuring children are safe while traversing the waterways, and further reiterated "We are very grateful for these jackets as it will go a long way in protecting our children as they go to school."
Ms. Pollard is also inviting members of the public to Riversview this year as the community prepares to celebrate Amerindian Heritage Month. She said that the village will be the host village of an activity planned for October 6.
Later in the afternoon, the team visited the Regional Education Officer, Charles Holmes and presented 35 life jackets for him to distribute to the students of the Bartica Secondary School.
Mr. Holmes in receiving the life jackets said it's a good gesture and he's indeed grateful for the contribution, "We know that safety is always important and we are indeed happy for the life jackets at this time as schools are set to reopen for the new term."
Life jackets distribution will continue throughout the country as MARAD's aim is to prevent, end or minimize accidents along the waterways
KINGSTON, Georgetown – Persons, who frequently use the power boat service as a mode of transportation, have the right to request the licenses of boat operators before boarding the vessels.
This is the view of Maritime Administration Department’s (MARAD) head, Claudette Rogers.
“Your life should be important to you as it is to us. We think it is absolutely necessary and we think it would only take one second of your time to ask that question, which will determine whether you will go with that operator or not. The choice becomes yours… You may the person that makes a difference,” Ms. Rogers said.
While the department has made it mandatory for operators to have copies of their license on the vessels, there have been a number of illegal operators traversing the waterways.
Therefore, in an effort to curb such a practice, MARAD has pushed for greater maritime safety.
According to Ms. Rogers, MARAD officers are partnering with boat associations and have been in continuous consultations with them. Ongoing meetings have been held to discuss safety issues and every quarter the department reviews operators’ vessels.
“…this is to ensure [that] the boats are outfitted with the requisite gear and paperwork for their vessels are up to standard,” she explained.
Likewise, keen attention has been placed along the Mazaruni area whereby life jackets are distributed to school children. Patrols too, Ms. Rogers added, have heightened.
“We have been using our marine vessels at least once or twice a week, with an estimated 50 illegal operators caught so far for the year,” she said.
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