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Flag weather warning system to be implemented at seaports

Saturday, January 19, 2019

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ) plans to institute a flag weather warning system with accompanying signs at seaport departure points, to provide vessels with alerts on storm and wind conditions.

This was disclosed at a Town Hall meeting for small passenger vessel operators held at Fort Charles, Port Royal on Thursday.

The sensitisation meeting was held in wake of a boat capsizing on December 27, 2018 in the Lime Cay basin, resulting in the death of two people.

In his address, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral Peter Brady urged the operators to adhere to the safety requirements found in the Shipping Act and the Harbour Rules.

He also stressed that passengers should be properly briefed by boat operators, before going out to sea.

“You [also] make sure that they put on the life jackets and not only put them on, but that they are fitted. You have to say to them in the event that we encounter bad weather, you follow my instructions and these are things that we do… and you list what you are going to do,” he pointed out.

“Those of you who want to engage in carrying paying passengers, you have to come to the Maritime Authority, for us to properly certify you, and give you the right instructions for the people you carry. Make sure you carry the right equipment,” Rear Admiral Brady added.

Vessel operators were also encouraged to ensure that their boats are in proper working condition.

The Maritime Authority of Jamaica is responsible for the development of shipping in Jamaica and to regulate matters related to merchant shipping and seafarers.

The MAJ is also responsible for the regulation of safety, security and marine environment protection; and for discharging Jamaica's Treaty obligations in relation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO).


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