15 water taxi operators found without licence
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
FIFTEEN water taxi operators were found ferrying passengers around Sg Brunei without a licence in a joint operation by 33 personnel from the Marine Police, the Kg Ayer Police Station and the Marine Department.
The Marine Department issued letters to the water taxi operators requiring them to report to the department.
Boats ferrying passengers without life jackets and proper licences – often recognisable by the absence of a boat registration number on the water taxis – is a public safety risk both the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF) and the Marine Department are trying to mitigate, said Inspector Hamdan Mantul yesterday.
“By regulation, the taxis for Kg Ayer (depending on size) should only be carrying six to eight people while the boats carrying passengers from the capital to Temburong and back should only be carrying a maximum of 12 passengers per trip,” he said.
He added that the public, even those making routine trips across the river to the capital, needed to wear life jackets, which should be provided by the boat operator.
The department has appointed a number of companies to supply life jackets and other safety equipment which boat operators and the public can now purchase by contacting the department’s vessel measurement and enforcement section.
The public are also advised to ensure the boats they are travelling in are registered with the Marine Department, and are manned by operators who have a class 9 licence.
The Brunei Times