I DON’T travel by sea but sometimes we can’t avoid taking ferries to some places. Recently I went to Labuan with my wife and I took a passenger ferry that plies the route every day.
I am not sure about the safety standards and guidelines that passenger ferries must follow, but what I saw during my trip to Labuan made me concerned.
It looked rather unsafe travelling on the ferry. As a passenger I shouldn’t be left thinking will I get trapped on the ferry in case of an emergency.
I have listed a few things which I found were unsafe.
(1) I believe the ferry counter accepted too many passengers the ferry is allowed to carry as I saw them standing in front of the main entrance of the ferry as all seats were taken by others.
(2) The main entrance or walkway to the exit doors was nearly blocked with bags, boxes and various cargoes brought by the passengers. In case of an emergency, passengers would have faced difficulties to get past the walkway to the exit door due to the obstruction. This may have led to panic and eventual stampede.
(3) Are lifejackets regularly checked and inspected? From the way most of them looked, they were not. They were worn out and in bad shape.
(4) Emergency exit (glass window) with a painted safety knob will be hard to release during any untoward incident by the lone person seated close to the exit.
(5) Passenger seats are in a bad shape and not worth the money we pay for the tickets. The service on the whole could be better than what it is now.
Hope the relevant authorities will look into this matter before it’s too late.