Ferries have never conducted firefighting exercises, operation reveals

Ferries plying between Langkawi and the Kedah and Perlis coasts are flouting safety rules, authorities say. (Facebook pic)

LANGKAWI: Passenger ferries plying between Langkawi and the Kedah and Perlis coasts have never conducted firefighting exercises, an operation by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and the Langkawi Marine Department found.

MMEA Kedah/Perlis director Rozali Mohd Said said the shocking discovery was made during a surprise inspection of four ferries carrying 400 passengers here on Thursday.

He said the operation was carried out to ensure the ferries complied with safety procedures and maritime law, following several complaints and incidents such as a stranded ferry in Kuala Perlis and the fire on a Langkawi ferry.

“The inspections were carried out on ferries operating along the Langkawi-Kuala Kedah and Langkawi-Kuala Perlis route.

“In addition to not having firefighting exercises, there were other security aspects that the operators had not complied with such as a faulty public announcement system which meant announcements could not be made, and children’s safety jackets placed in a location that was hard to access,” he said in a statement here yesterday.

During the operation, the ferry operators were briefed on security at sea as well shown the proper use of safety jackets.