MOROBE Mining staff in Lae gathered at Central Services office at Nine Mile on 27 March, to celebrate this year’s National Mine Safety Week (NMSW) themed ‘Boat Safety (Small Crafts Act)’.

NMSA senior shipping inspector Danny Fezamo said with the passing of the Small Crafts Act 2010 in February this year, stakeholders can now implement the Act and prevent more lives from being lost in boating accidents and incidents.

“Many boating tragedies involve small crafts. When we implement the Act, we can then properly regulate small boats and vessels that ferry passengers and prevent these tragedies,” Mr Fezamo said.

Regulation will include registration of vessels, load limits, safety procedures, operation standards and fees, he said.

“The Act imposes penalties that include fines of up to K500, 000 and jail time. We need to remember that human lives cannot be replaced,” he said.

Central Services administration manager, Anna Wissink said Morobe Mining staff travel up and down the Markham and Watut rivers for community engagement and environmental work and their safety is very important.

“It’s not just mine safety that we need to look at. We have employees who frequent the river systems especially in dug-out canoes; and whether its duty travel or not, we have to ensure that they get from point A to point B unharmed.”

“The company is for the Small Crafts Act and the safety aspect that it intends to implement. Traveling on a licensed boat gives us assurance that it is fit to ferry our people safely,” Ms Wissink said.

Morobe Mining said the highlight of the event was the staff research presentation on topics related to the Small Crafts Act 2010, and boat safety.

Making recommendations on how local commercial boat owners can be involved in implementing the Act, the staff said an important one was the training and certification of boat owners and captains in boat safety.

Representatives from the National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) and Morobe Provincial Disaster & Emergency Services were invited to attend the event as well.