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By Staff Reporter : PNG Today

Don't take the risk, Boats and alcohol dont' mix, new campaign urges

Milne Bay Provincial Government has partnered with National Maritime Safety Authority and SP Brewery in an awareness campaign to stop small crafts and boat operators from consuming alcohol when sailing at sea. A billboard has been set up for commuters containing discouragement of having a beer before or during voyages. As part of the awareness campaign in this maritime province safety stickers were also issued to dinghy and small boat operators.
Speaking at the announcement of the awareness campaign last week, Provincial Administrator-Michael Kape said that Milne Bay Province was the first to enact the law of small craft in 1984. “We have our provincial transport authority board that is enforcing this law to ensure safety at sea. We have a lot of boat owners and dinghy operators coming to see the Transport Authority Board to ensure their crafts are sea worthy and are safe to carry passengers or human lives out at sea.”
“A lot of boat owners and dinghy operators have done the right thing by obtaining safety certificates and also getting safety registrations from Transport Authority that guarantees their safety at sea. We have come a long way, however, not all has been fine or not all has been safe. We have had instances of boat accidents at sea, boats have sank, dinghies going missing, small crafts set on fire and that provides a concern for us that we must ensure as local authorities and provincial authorities to ensure safety is paramount,” said Kape.
Mr Kape said, with the good partnership of the National Maritime Safety Authority and our corporate sponsor SP Brewery, who has come to assist us with this sea safety awareness campaign, it is a way forward in a much bigger and meaningful way. The billboard that is put up at Sanderson Bay wharf will remind us that operating a boat or dinghy and drinking alcohol at the same time don’t mix well. The consumer is not the only one at risk when intoxicated but passengers and others out at sea are also at risk. Even when fatalities do not occur, there can be injuries and destruction of property in boating accidents. Most of our people or three quarters of our population live on the islands and so their mode of transportation is a lifetime and it is going to stay as long as we live. Therefore, we must all comply with the sea safety laws and such safety awareness campaigns put in place by our local authorities like National Maritime Safety Authority and corporate partners like SP Brewery.
“As the Provincial Authority with the help of National Maritime Safety Authority and our corporate sponsor SP Brewery, we will as much as possible ensure that those safety laws are enforced and we will expect the boat and a dingy owner to make sure that safety is paramount. We will make sure that crafts are inspected on regular bases to ensure that they are sea worthy and safe to carry passengers,” said Kape.
Kape also told the small boat owners and dinghy operators that operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is illegal. Even if you never had an accident or hurt anyone while out at sea, you could be facing legal action when caught drinking and boating. He commended the Transport Board Authority, the Maritime Safety Authority and SP Brewery for the very important safety awareness program and he assured them that the awareness program will be going out also to the districts of Milne Bay Province.

Posted by Staff Reporter : PNG Today on 1:22 AM. Filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Share this Article

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