Stop cowboy boat operators, DA urges

2012-10-25 22:38
The Miroshga (Picture: Die Burger)

The Miroshga (Picture: Die Burger)

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Johannesburg - The SA Maritime Safety Authority's report on the recent Hout Bay boat accident serves as a warning to illegal operators, the DA said on Thursday.

"This should be a warning to those cowboys who think the sea is a fun place where one can do as one wants," Democratic Alliance spokesperson Mark Wiley said.

"They can't, and one hopes that the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) will step up efforts to ensure that those using the ocean, either for business or pleasure, are fully compliant to safety standards and will not put others at risk."

The charter boat Miroshga overturned in Hout Bay two weeks ago with 39 people on board. British tourist Peter Hyett, 64, and crew member John Roberts, 37, drowned.

In an accident report released on Wednesday, Samsa said flooding caused the boat to capsize. The skipper did not have the relevant certificate to operate the boat and the vessel was unseaworthy.

Wiley praised Samsa and said within an hour of the accident officials were on the scene to interview survivors and gather evidence.

"Their report is testimony to their commitment and expertise, and also a reassurance to the public that at least some level of authority was being exerted over tour boat operators.

"Most of them go to great lengths to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. Some boat operators in the Hout Bay harbour have a proud record of years of accident-free operation and the bona fide operators need support... not the risk takers who care more for money than service."

Earlier, Western Cape MEC for Transport Robin Carlisle accused the country's harbours of negligence, saying this contributed to boat accidents.

"When harbours are neglected in this disgraceful way, we should not be surprised that such horrific incidents occur, nor should we expect that the Miroshga disaster would be the last," Carlisle said.

"There has been virtually no management, regulation, inspection, security or investment."

Read more on:    samsa  |  cape town  |  maritime

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