The Minister for Transport Infrastructure and Capital Projects Ian Borg, together with the administration of Transport Malta, launched the educational campaign ‘Be Safe at Sea’, with the aim to raise awareness and minimise the risk of accidents at sea. From Ġnejna Bay in Mġarr, Minister Ian Borg said that this campaign is focusing on both boat owners and swimmers.
The campaign for boat users concentrates on two aspects. The first is on speed limits, to help minimise accidents. Last year, 37% of the contraventions issued by Transport Malta’s Maritime Enforcement section were for over speeding. Over speeding was the most frequent breach by far.
Minister Borg called for diligence and encouraged boat users to stick to the speed limits, the main one being 10 knots in harbours, 200 metres from rocky shores and 300 metres from sandy beaches. The speed limit goes down to 3 knots in marinas and in proximity of other moorings. The campaign also raises awareness on the dangers that might result from driving under the influence.
Minister Ian Borg hailed Transport Malta’s Maritime Enforcement squadron, that helps maintain discipline at sea. Until now, the team has already inspected over 1000 vessels, issued close to 300 contraventions and over 100 warnings. Hence, Transport Malta is constantly investing in this squad’s assets and its members, both through training its officials and also in its equipment.
The Campaign ‘Be Safe at Sea’ is also aimed at swimmers. The Authority has prepared 56 swimmer zones within the most popular bays around the Maltese islands. This year, two new ones were added from last year, one in Saint Thomas Bay in Marsascala and another in Kalanka, Delimara. The Minister encouraged swimmers to swim in these zones whenever possible for their own safety.
Transport Malta has prepared 40 slipways around Malta and Gozo with signs and paintings, besides the annual regular maintenance, to help avoid obstruction and allow their unhindered use by boat users.
He concluded by encouraging both swimmers and boat owners not to litter, either on the beaches or at sea and encouraged the public to enjoy the season without accidents, by showing respect to all and towards the environment.