TM launches annual safety at sea campaign in Gozo & Malta
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Transport Malta has recently launched its Safety at Seas campaign, which aims at educating boat owners to enjoy their pastime in a responsible way and in full respect of regulations and swimmers.
There are seven bays in Gozo and three in Comino, the list is shown below.
The re-establishment of 47 Swimmers’ Zones around the Maltese Islands is one the major initiatives of this campaign. Balluta Bay and Qawra (below the seafront hotels) are two new zones the Authority has reserved exclusively for swimmers for this summer.
Other initiatives by Transport Malta include the installation of 40 speed marker buoys and four additional buoys to mark hazardous reefs which may pose a potential threat to mariners (at Marsalforn Gozo, Blue Lagoon, Gnejna Bay and Ghallis Rock in Qawra).
Similar to last year, TM enforcement personnel will also act as bay coordinators at Blue Lagoon, Comino during peak hours throughout the summer period. The role of these coordinators is primarily educational and has proved to be very useful in ensuring disciplined use of popular bays.
During the summer months, Transport Malta, together with the Police and AFM, will be conducting random sea patrols in an effort to curb abuses. The Police force and the Armed Forces of Malta work very closely with the Authority and are major contributors to the campaign.
The main objective of such patrols is to instill in the general public a sense of awareness that by acting cautiously and responsibly when at sea. Nevertheless, significant effort is devoted in tackling the most persistent problem with regards to safety at sea; that of over speeding close to shore.
In fact 47% of the charges issued in 2012 were related to overspeeding.In 2012, the Authority stopped and checked 330 vessels during routine inspections. 119 vessels were found contravening the regulations and were charged, whilst another 153 vessel owners were warned
The Authority’s aim is to ensure that the sea is enjoyed responsibly by both swimmers and boat users. After many years of promotion, the Maltese awareness of safety at sea has notably increased. Nevertheless, common sense, courtesy and adherence to basic regulations are imperative in ensuring an enjoyable and accident-free summer for all.
Transport Malta wishes both the swimmers and boat users an enjoyable safe summer and urges everyone to enjoy it responsibly.
The bays in Gozo and Comino are:
Photographs by Alain Salvary of summer 2013 at Ramla, Xlendi and Comino.