Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:32 pm
Warri (Delta) – The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Wednesday donated over 150 safety jackets to boat operators in Warri, Delta.
The items were presented to the operators to mark the ‘2014 Awareness Campaign on Maritime Safety,’ organised by the agency.
Capt. Kunle Olayiwola, a Master Mariner and Assistant Director in NIMASA, handed over the jackets to the boat operators at Ogolaha Jetty in Warri on behalf of the agency.
Olayiwola, who is also the District Surveyor, Eastern Zone of NIMASA, warned the beneficiaries against selling them, noting that proper use of the items would encourage the agency to provide more.
“Do not sell the life jackets because that is the only way you can encourage us to provide more.”
Olayiwola urged the operators to make proper use of the jackets and to also avoid speeding and over-loading for their safety.
He said that the sensitisation campaign was to educate the boat operators on the hazard of sailing without observing the rules, saying that they should always operate with optimum efficiency.
The director also advised the operators to ensure they carried the approved number of jackets and fire-fighting equipment on their boats.
“Boat operators must check the engine performance every morning and do necessary servicing regularly.
“Loaded boats must be properly balanced before embarking on any journey and also have a minimum of two lifebuoys on board.
“Boat or canoe drivers must have fire extinguishers and must shun night journey or low visibility to avoid falling prey to pirates,” he said.
The Warri Zonal Coordinator of NIMASA, Mr Akin Akinyosoye, said that the programme was to guarantee safety on the nation’s waterways.
He urged the operators to take advantage of the exercise to enhance their operations and promote safety.
The Chairman of the Maritime Workers Union, Market Road in Warri, Mr Yakubu Biukeme, who spoke on behalf of the operators, commended NIMASA for the gesture.
Biukeme solicited for more jackets to enhance their activities.
Highlights of the programme include teaching on how to properly wear safety jackets. (NAN)