The Royal Solomon Islands Police Force (RSIPF) appeals to all members of the public throughout the country who are planning to travel by boat and outboard motor (OBM) to be aware of sea safety measures as people travel to their home islands to celebrate Christmas and New Year 2021.
The boats and OBMs carrying passengers have to meet all safety requirements before leaving port.
Commissioner of Police Mostyn Mangau says, “We want to make sure that boats are not over loaded with cargo and passengers. Make sure passengers and crew are not under the influence of alcohol. It is the responsibility of the captain of the boat to ensure the safety of the vessel and passengers. Make sure that they have the appropriate safety equipment on board to cater for the number of passengers they are legally allowed to carry as well as the appropriate communication equipment.”
“Sea safety is very important as we want to avoid any further tragic sea incidence especially during the festive season,” says Commissioner Mangau.
He adds, “OBM owners and skippers are also reminded of the same messages as the increase in travel from the main provincial centers to the islands increase with people going on holiday get off the boats at the centers to travel on OBMs to their home villages.”
Before you travel, please plan your trip properly. Here are some safety points to remember before travelling:
- Plan your trip and at least let a member of your family know where you are going and what time you expect to arrive;
- Check the weather on SIBC or call the Met Service on the toll free 933; or phones 36310 or 24219.
- If you start your trip and the weather becomes bad, seek shelter until the sea is calm;
- Make sure your boat is seaworthy and your OBM is serviced and maintained;
- Know your skipper. Make sure they are experienced in driving boats;
- Do not overload your boat
- Wear life jackets. Take food and water, paddles, first aid kit, anchor and rope, mirror to signal others, tools, bucket, torch, phone, flares and EPIRB;
- Take extra fuel;
- If your skipper is drunk, do not go with them or let them control the boat; and
- If you require help at sea call the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) on phone 21609 or 27685 or the toll free phone 977; or call the RSIPF National Communication Centre on phone 23666 or the toll free phone 999.
Safety at sea starts with you. IF YOU ARE NOT TOO SURE, STAY ASHORE