Over 5,000 boat licences issued
THE Marine Department has issued more than 5,000 outboard engine boat licences to boat drivers in the sultanate since 2011.
An officer at the department’s Examination and Certification said 735 licences were issued in 2015. For this year, 424 licences have been issued as of May, said the officer who wished not to be named.
The officer said the driving licence categorised as Class 9 Terhad is only for those operating outboard engine (or enjin sangkut) boats.
“Applicants for this licence type must be 18 years above with maximum age of 60 years old,” the marine officer said, adding that the majority of the applicants are locals.
He went on to say that applicants who are 60 above will only be given a licence that has to be renewed every year provided they are still fit and show proof of their health status from the relevant agencies.
Prior to being a certified boat operator, applicants need to complete the Class 9 Terhad course which is conducted over two weeks in all the districts, with Brunei-Muara applicants having to undergo the course at the department’s headquarters in Serasa.
He highlighted the importance of the course in ensuring that boat drivers or operators are aware of the maritime safety and regulations in the country.
“For example, these (boat) drivers have to know which way they need to go when they come across another boat or ship during their journey to avoid collision,” said the officer.
“This is also to enhance their knowledge in regards to things they encounter in the sea, like the different colour lights and what do they signify, as well as the varieties of flagships,” added the officer.
The officer added that it is essential for drivers to get the licence as many are still unaware of the maritime safety regulations and procedures when they are out in the water.
“Some of the participants told us that prior to the course, they had different ways in manning their boats which are not neccessarily accurate nor appropriate and might put theirs and others’ life at risk.”
The Brunei Times