Life jackets, life savers

Rokiah Mahmud

The proper use of life jackets can help reduce the risk of fatal accidents. Water taxi operators are frequently urged to always wear life jackets, adhere to regulations and slow down when passing by construction sites as well as during uncertain weather conditions.

Several accidents have claimed lives due to life jackets not being worn.

A boat accident in March this year resulted in the death of a foreign national. It was believed that the passenger was not wearing a life jacket.

In supporting the campaign, the Royal Brunei Technical Services (RBTS) in March this year handed over 50 sets of life jackets to further boost safety standards for local water transport.

In addition, safety leaflets and briefings on the importance of wearing life jackets when using water transport were among the efforts to promote the campaign.

Photos above and below show boat operators and passengers with life jackets. PHOTOS: RAHWANI ZAHARI & BAHYIAH BAKIR

The Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei Darussalam (MPABD) reminded boat operators and passengers to always use life jackets, safety equipment and ensure that they are in good condition.

Wearing a life jacket should be made part of a routine and culture, particularly for those who are frequent passengers, Mohamed Hakim, a boat passenger told the Bulletin.

He said even during a short trip, it is essential to wear the life jacket as one cannot be sure when a mishap could occur.

“It is always better to be safe than sorry,” he said.

During the festive season, the number of passengers increases, as is the demand for speed boats travelling from the capital to the Temburong District. Boat operators have been reminded not to overload their boats with passengers.

All forms of water transportation, particularly boats, are easily exposed to hazards, and weather and unstable water conditions. Life jackets help wearers to keep afloat, so that they can easily be rescued.

All local vessels are instructed to register with the MPABD to heighten safety standards for local water transport. Boat operators also have to undergo a course on safety regulations and procedures in boat handling before they can access a Class 9 (limited) licence.