GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC - The Guyana Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) has launched an aggressive safety campaign on river transportation following two boat collisions over the past two months that have claimed 17 lives.
MARAD said officials are now enforcing laws and other measures such as licensing of boats, boat captains, emergency and fire equipment and the proper use of life jackets and that at the end of the exercise 20 defaulters were identified and given an opportunity to correct their faults.
MARAD said that a river patrol has been established with a presence on the Essequibo River.
Michael Tennant a MARAD official said the campaign is being carried out to promote safety on the waterways while simultaneously enforcing the laws governing the operation of passenger and other vessels.
He said that the response has been commendable and the administration hopes to continue the campaign for an extended period.
The first of the accidents on December 18 last year on the Pomeroon River claimed the lives of six people and on January 22 where 11 people were killed on the Mazaruni River after two boats collided.