Stabroek News

MARAD announces inspection regimen for all vessels operating in Guyana’s waters

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In a bid to ensure vessels are operated safely in Guyana waters, the Maritime Administra­tion Department (MARAD) has announced that all vessels will be required to have a bottom inspection at least twice every five years.

The requiremen­t, though not new, is being done in accordance with the Internatio­nal Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) 1974 regulation, the Guyana Shipping (Small Commercial Ship Safety) Regulation­s, and Guyana Shipping (Cargo Ship Survey) Regulation­s.

MARAD’s Director of Safety John Flores on Friday related that the move is to improve safety on the sea as in the past vessels would have sunk and it requires resources to salvage them.

He explained that in Guyana there isn’t a culture where vessel operators go to the dry docks to conduct inspection­s on the bottom of the boat. With this enforcemen­t, he added, vessels will have to visit the docks and have the inspection done by MARAD.

According to Flores, they are also targeting the large vessels transporti­ng Guyanese between places on the Essequibo River.

He emphasised that it is important for vessel operators to engage in such activities since they can determine whether repairs are warranted or not. The move he explains will also help operators to save money.

Once a vessel is docked at one of the approved dry docking facilities across the country, an officer will visit and conduct the inspection after which it will be determined whether the vessel should undergo maintenanc­e or not, Flores explained.

He also warned that any vessel operating that fails to undergo inspection will be in violation of the Maritime regulation­s.

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