By Vanessa Knight – EM TV, Port Moresby
Small sea craft users need to follow maritime safety rules and regulations to keep sea travellers safe, and prevent accidents from occurring.
This message is being stressed by the National Maritime and Safety Authority, following reports of a tragic boating accident in Port Moresby, which claimed the life of a fisherman.
The elderly fisherman, identified as Mase Boga from Hanuabada village in Port Moresby, went missing last Friday evening, while out fishing at Gembo Island, when an unidentified dinghy collided into the dinghy he was on.
According to the deceased’s family, a search party led by the family and concerned villagers was unsuccessful, until the body was found washed ashore on Fisherman Island yesterday morning.
Manager for Maritime Standards and Compliance, Joseph Pyawan said most accidents that occur out at sea are avoidable, provided that skippers and sea travellers are equipped with proper safety gear and training.
According to National Maritime Safety Authority, the Small Crafts Act passed in Parliament last year requires the setting up of a Small Crafts Administration office in all 14 Maritime Provinces including NCD, to manage all sea crafts measuring less than 10 meters in length.
Pyawan said with the passing of the Act, the responsibility falls on each Provincial Government to establish an administration, to regulate and train skippers and sea travellers, on the necessary safety measures involved when travelling and handling small crafts in open sea.
While smaller Maritime Provinces like Milne Bay and East New Britain have established their Small crafts administration, NCD is yet to set one up.
Although NCD is a metropolitan of PNG, thousands of dinghies and sea vessels are used in NCD waters every day, by coastal communities like the Motu Koita, Aroma and Rigo.
The boating accident has been reported to police for investigation, and the grieving family want answers for the irresponsible act, which they say claimed the life of their loved one.
The deceased was described by his family as a loving father and grandfather, who leaves behind his loved wife of more than 20 years.