THE GUIDELINES issued by the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) last week as it lifted the suspension of Iloilo-Guimaras motorboats are now being implemented nationwide. In its notice to “all passenger motorboat owners/operators,” MARINA said, “To uphold maritime safety nationwide, all passenger motorbancas shall only be allowed to sail under the following conditions:”
• Each passenger will have to wear a life jacket throughout the trip;
• Loading of just 75% of the approved carrying capacity of the vessel;
• Overhead tarpaulins/canvass should be rolled up or removed;
• Services will only be from sunrise to sunset;
• Operations will be allowed only during “fair weather,” defined as conditions wherein wind is under 7-10 knots or Force 3 in the beaufort scale, and wave height of not more than 0.5 meter; and
• Fitting the vessels with distress signal equipment.