The boat tragedy last year pushes boat operators to put in extra safety measures for their boats.
by Tommy Duncan, Carrybeans
Early last year, we were shocked with the news about the capsized catamaran boat that ferries Chinese tourists to Pulau Mengalum. Following the incident, boat operators are implementing more safety measures to ensure the tragedy will not repeat again.
Unforeseen tragedy happening on the first day of Chinese New Year
The tragedy happened when a boat capsized on its way to Pulau Mengalum due to strong wind and big waves. The boat had departed from an illegal Tanjung Aru jetty on Saturday 28th January 2017.
There were 31 people on board, including three crews and 28 Chinese tourists. Unfortunately, four Chinese tourist died while five others including a local crewman are still missing.
Beefing up the safety measures
In light of this tragedy, boat operators had installed extra safety systems on their vessels. According to The Star Online, Summer Cruise Holidays, a local boat operator has equipped their boats with Automatic Identification System (AIS) and radio.
AIS is an automated tracking system that displays the location of other vessels in the vicinity of the boat. As the screen of other vessels also shows your location (assuming that your boat has AIS too), it allows authorities to detect and contact the vessels in case of any emergencies.
According to Summer Cruise Holiday’s Zoe Ting, all boat crews are briefed on the do’s and don’ts. Then, the boat crews will relay the information to the passengers for safety measures.
She added that jetty in the Jesselton Point had set up a safety standard in following of the tragedy. The safety standard follows a 3 colored level indicators:
- Green – Operations run as usual and operators may sail the boat out to sea
- Yellow – Boat operators operate at their own risk
- Red – Jetty is closed and no boats are allowed to leave
Making the safety of the public a priority
The introduction of the new safety measures is certainly something that is much needed in Sabah, especially in the tourism industry. In addition to that, Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som, regional director for Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency Sabah and Labuan said that the Maritime team will be increasing patrols and enhancing enforcement at seas in the state. So, the public can rest assured that their safety is guaranteed as they enjoy Sabah’s islands.
What do you think of the implementation of the safety measures? Tell us in the comments below.
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Featured Image Credit: Nick Jio