The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Capital Projects, Ian Borg, along with Transport Malta’s administration, launched the educational campaign ‘Be Safe at Sea’ on Monday June 6.
The campaign’s aim is to raise awareness as well as minimise the risk of possible accidents at sea.
Speaking at Ġnejna Bay in Mġarr, Minister Ian Borg stated that this campaign will be focusing on boat owners, as well as swimmers.
Regarding boat owners, the campaign will focus on speed limits in order to help reduce the amount of accidents in the sea. During 2019, 37% of the contraventions by Transport Malta’s Maritime Enforcement section were done for over speeding by boats, with this being the most frequent breach of sea laws.
The statement from the government said that Minister Borg “encouraged boat users to stick to the speed limits”, with the main limit being “ten knots in harbours, 200 metres from rocky shores and 300 metres from sandy beaches” , with this dropping to “three knots in marinas and in proximity of other moorings.”
The campaign also seeks to focus on the dangers of driving boats without taking any particular care to the speed limits.
Minister Ian Borg was full of praise towards Transport Malta’s Maritime Enforcement team, with the team already inspecting “over 1000 vessels” whilst also issuing almost “300 contraventions and over 100 warnings”.
Transport Malta has continued to invest in training and equipment for the Maritime Enforcement team.
With regards to swimmers, Minister Borg stated that 56 swimmer zones have been prepared “within the most popular bays around the Maltese Islands”.
Two new swimmer zones will be added, one in Saint Thomas Bay in Marsascala, and one in Kalanka, Delimara, with the Minister encouraging people to swim in the zones marked by the authorities in order to avoid dangerous areas.
Apart from this, Transport Malta has also prepared “40 slipways around Malta and Gozo with signs and paintings, besides the annual regular maintenance”, so that obstruction and congestion is minimised by boat users.
Concluding, Minister Borg also encouraged swimmers and boat users not to litter at sea or on the beaches.
The summer season is well underway in Malta, with hundreds of people going to beaches every day to take a break from the summer heat.
However, with more people heading to the beaches, there is also an increased amount of litter in such coastal areas, leading to the contamination of the seawater as well as the destruction of certain habitats.