LABUAN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency is stepping up safety checks on boats and ferries during the Aidifitri holiday season to prevent untoward incidents.
Checks were conducted today on passengers and crews of more than 10 passenger speedboats heading from Labuan to Sipitang and Menumbok, 21kim away on the Sabah mainland.
Checks were also conducted on each ferry from Labuan to Menumbok jetty to ensure that the operators were ferrying passengers and vehicles within the load limit and capacity.
Labuan MMEA enforcement chief Capt (Maritime) Che Adnan Md Isa said the spot checks were conducted to ensure that the operators of the passenger boats and ferries comply fully with the safety procedures.
“We cannot afford to have complaints on overloaded ferries and boats, especially during this festive season, as the safety of the passengers is of paramount importance.
“Increased spot checks are being made on ferries and boats, including on their general condition, and making sure that the firefighting equipment and lifesaving appliances on board are in good working condition,” he said.
The MMEA called on industry players, including shipping companies and ferry and cruise operators, as well as individual seafarers and passengers, to play their part in preventing incidents at sea.
Che Adnan said the spot checks would be conducted continuously until the festive season is over.
“In addition, we will increase our enforcement team’s presence on the ground to encourage safety awareness,” he said.