Responding to the need for safety measures in tourism activities along water bodies, City Police Commissioner K.G. James on Monday convened a meeting of boat operators in the city.

The meeting held at the Commissioner’s office asked the boat operators to stick to the basics in safety measures and not to violate any rules related to tourism boating. This included carrying only the allowed number of passengers on board and allowing only those with valid licences to operate boats.

As the first step, the boat operators were asked to provide every passenger with life-saving material and also to make them aware about the location of the material in the boat and explain how to use them – as it is done in aircraft. “Right now, the practice is to dump the safety material somewhere inside the boat and during moments of crisis the passengers might not be aware where to look for it. We have asked the boat operators to correct this,” said Mr. James.

Those employed in boats were also asked to strictly abstain from liquor and other intoxicating material while on duty. The use of liquor on board the tourism boats is also to be strictly restricted. “The shadow wing of the City Police will be deployed along with personnel from the coastal police station to check whether the boat operators adhere to these norms,” the Commissioner said.

A complete list of boats operating from the Marine Drive is being prepared at Town Central Police station, which will include the details about the boats and its workers. Surprise checks will be held on the boats, it was said at the meeting.

Passengers, especially foreigners, should be made aware of the depth of the water body on which the boat is operated. Such details should be printed in many languages and displayed inside the boat. The number of passengers allowed to ride on the upper berth should be restricted and no tourist boat should be operated along the shipping channel, the City Police officials told the boat operators.

Tomy Sebastian, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Special Branch; K.C. Hariharan, Circle Inspector, Coastal Police; V.G. Raveendranath, Circle Inspector, Control Room and A. Ananthalal, sub-inspector, Town Central, met the representatives of Tourist Boat Owners’ Association.

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