POLICE will be out monitoring vessels and small boats in Honiara and throughout the provinces next month as we are heading towards the festive seasons again.
Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau said they are looking at starting the operation in the second week of December.
“That is when most boats will be travelling out to the provinces for the Christmas and New Year holidays,” Mangau told reporters.
Mangau added that all provinces will be coming up with their safe boat operations as well.
Police will be working together with the Solomon Islands Maritime Safety Administration (SIMSA) and the Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA).
The operation includes all shipping vessels including Outboard Motors (OBM) engines.
During the operation, police in Honiara and the provinces will be monitoring vessels and boats leaving Honiara and those coming to Honiara from the provinces.
Mangau said they will be also conducting awareness and providing the right information with boat owners and the travelling public about sea safety issues.
He also urged everyone to look at safety when travelling to our Islands and to listen out for Meteorology for weather updates.
He said those travelling via vessels are urged to respect tour marine laws and adhere to marine regulations at the number of passengers a vessel can carry.
“If you are not in the passenger’s list, please take some precaution and do not board to avoid disasters that may happen at sea.
Mangau said those deciding to travel by banana boats must also ensure they have the right equipment on board such as a paddle, life jacket, extra fuel and such things.
Do not overload boats and look at the minimum passengers the boat can carry to avoid disasters,” he added
Mangau reminded the public that as we are heading towards the festive season, it is also a season for bad weather; cyclones and strong winds.
If you are a skipper, do not take alcohol and make sure your passengers have enough food and water.
“If the weather is not fine, don’t take risks at your own hands and travel when the weather does not permit it.”
By ASSUMPTA BUCHANAN