POLICE continue to warn boat owners and captains not to endanger the lives of passengers by overloading their vessels.
The warning comes as people head back to their home constituencies to cast their votes in tomorrow’s polls.
“A joint operation by officers of the RSIPF and the Solomon Islands Maritime Authority (SIMSA) in the past few days in Honiara had to request some boat owners and captains to offload some passengers because the vessels were overloaded,” says Assistant Commissioner of Police, National Operations, Mostyn Mangau.
“The captains of our vessels know exactly how many passengers they are legally allowed to carry and they should not go over the legal limit just because people insist to travel,” he added.
“The safety of the passengers is the responsibility of the captain once they are allowed to board their vessels.
“At the same time passengers should also take the responsibility not to insist to board any vessel which they know it’s already overloaded.”
Mangau said this warning also goes to the captain of vessels that will be bringing back people from the provinces after the voting has been done.
“Police officers in the provincial capitals will also be checking on vessels leaving from the provincial ports to ensure there is no overloading,”he added.
“Any vessel that is discovered with more than the legal number of passengers will not be allowed to leave the port until police and SIMSA officers are satisfied that they are carrying the right number of passengers.
“The safety of passengers is paramount and cannot be compromised under any circumstances. We cannot afford to have a sea disaster especially when most of the resources have been directed to the NGE duties.
“Police also warns passengers travelling from Honiara not to carry kwaso with them to sell in the provinces.
“Police will search passengers if we have information about any one carrying the illegal substance and it will be destroyed if it is found on any of the passengers.”