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Updated on March 6, 2019 From The Global New Light of Myanmar

Mandalay takes steps for safety of passenger vessels

AN awareness talk on safety of vessels, their systematic operation, and regulatory compliance was held at the meeting hall of the Department of Marine Administration in Mandalay on Monday. It was organized by the Mandalay Region’s Marine Administration Department and the Mandalay Maritime Police .
       At the event, officials covered the Inland Vessel Law, Myanmar Coastal and Inland Water Transport Service License Law, and rules and regulations for sailors and passengers. “Last year, one passenger was lost during a vessel collision on the Bagan-Nyaung U route. Four cases of non-compliance with rules were reported, wherein unskilled sailors were used, no life jackets were found on board, and vessels were found carrying more passengers than their capacity. To ensure the safety of passengers, ferries must have life-jackets and fire extinguishers.
       Additionally, sailors must not be allowed on duty if they are under the influence of alcohol. Passengers must also avoid climbing on the roofs of ferries,” said U Thant Sin Myo, the head of the Mandalay Region’s Marine Administration Department.
       Before ferries depart from their jetties, the department checks the licences of sailors, safety operations of the vessels, compliance with safety management code for passengers, in accordance with the prescribed rules and policies. Moreover, the Maritime police also conducts surprise checks on vessels.
       There were 34 instances where vessels were found violating the rules, as of October, 2018. “We prioritize the safety of passengers and so, awareness campaigns are carried out. If we find vessels are not complying with rules, the related department meets with their vessel association and asks them to strictly adhere to the rules. The move is not aimed to hurt water transport businesses,” said Police Lt-Col Aung Zaw Myint of Mandalay Maritime Police.
       Between 2014 and 2017, Mandalay Region’s DMA office issued licences to 37 vessel associations for operating 115 vessels.
       All shareholders in the water transport industry have been advised to abide by the rules and regulations and people can contact the Department of Marine Administration for queries, said officials.
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