The Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei Darussalam (MPABD) would like to thank the writer, LC, for the opinion letter, “To water taxi operators: Safety first”, published in the Bulletin on May 29.
In the last three years, MPABD has received reports of 13 drowning cases and three cases of capsized boats in Kampong Ayer.
MPABD takes boating safety seriously. Among the recent approaches adopted to further increase the level of safety awareness among boat owners, boat drivers as well as the general public, the agency has installed 35 safety signage at jetties in Kampong Ayer, advising boat users or passengers to wear life jackets prior to getting on a boat.
In addition, it also often broadcasts boating safety advisory, boating safety tips and digital safety brochures through the social media account on Instagram from time to time, as well as distributes leaflets through the village head of Kampong Ayer and primary schools.
MPABD Enforcement Unit also actively conducts joint operations with Kampong Ayer Police Station for the purpose of patrolling and monitoring of Kampong Ayer water taxi activities, to ensure the safety of both the operators and the passengers.
On the issue of overloading, every boat operator is issued with the Permission Letter for Passenger Boat Service, which details the number of crew members and passengers allowed, and the usage of lifejackets. If the boat operators do not abide by the stipulated requirements, the letter will be retracted effective immediately.
MPABD issued a Domestic Shipping Notice on June 5, 2020 regarding the use of lifejackets. If the driver or owner of the boat and its passengers are found not wearing lifejackets while on board, the agency will not hesitate to revoke the boat’s Certificate of Registry and its boat driver’s Certificate of Class 9 (Limited).
Boating safety is a social and community responsibility. Wearing lifejackets while boating and adhering to the boat’s capacity will reduce the risks of drowning and injury in unfortunate events of boat accidents or capsizing and facilitate rescue efforts.
Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei Darussalam