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Friday,August 07,2020 18:56 PM

EAC Boating Laws Were Great

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th August 2002 03:00 AM

There has been talk for the need to have better safety precautions while on the waters. This is especially so after tragedies strike on our lakes and we loose many lives.

There has been talk for the need to have better safety precautions while on the waters. This is especially so after tragedies strike on our lakes and we loose many lives.

by John Kamya There has been talk for the need to have better safety precautions while on the waters. This is especially so after tragedies strike on our lakes and we loose many lives. On May 20, 27 people died on lake Victoria when the boat they were in capsized. On June 8, another 49 people died in a similar accident on the same lake. Eight people managed to survive. It is common to show concern only when tragedy has struck. It is high time we put measures in place to stop the carnage on the waters. One of the regulatory measures is the licensing of boats and strict enforcement of the conditions on the licences. During the time of the first East African Community, there were strict laws that seemed adequate to ensure maritime safety. These were contained in the East African Inland Water Transport Act (1959). Below are some of the things the law regulated: - All vessels had to have a certificate of seaworthiness. This was to be renewed every year and unworthy boats were destroyed. - All boats had to be inscribed with a name of the port they were operating from. - All boats were assigned routes. - All vessels had to have a certificate of registration. Before a boat was registered, the following details had to be submitted: * Type of the boat (dhow, motor-boat, steamer, etc.) * The name of the vessel. Unlike cars, every vessel must have a name e.g. Kalangala One or Kazinga 3. This is to ease identification. * Name of master. * Length of the vessel. * Tonnage of the vessel and nature of cargo permitted to be carried. Each vessel must have a specified tonnage depending on its length and the capacity of the engine to propel it. Likewise, the nature of cargo must be specified. * The maximum number of passengers allowed to be carried. * Number of crewmen . For life saving equipment, the following had to be specified: * Number of life jackets to be carried on the boat. Life jackets were to be worn before one got on to the boat. * Number of life-buoys (these are flat boards with handles designed to float in case of an accident so that several persons can hang on them. * Number of floatable rafts. - Capacity of rafts in terms of persons they can keep afloat. Each vessel had to have a fire extinguisher to be used in case of fire as well as fire buckets full of water at all times. Fire buckets were to be supplemented with boxes of sand, and scoops. Each boat had to have a water pump to suck out the water in case a vessel got a leakage. These rules were strictly enforced by the enforcement bodies existing then. Unless we go back to these standards, we are yet see so many tragedies on our waters. Ends

EAC Boating Laws Were Great

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