Enforce use of life jackets on bumboats

Over the weekend, I had to take a bumboat at the Changi Point berth with my family members to perform religious rites.

The bumboat could carry 12 passengers and two crew members.

In our bumboat, there was only one crew member who was steering the boat.

While life jackets were displayed on board, I was not sure if there were 14 life jackets - to cater for the maximum number of people allowed on board the boat.

There was no request for those on board to put on their life jackets at the start of the boat ride.

Other bumboats carrying the full capacity of passengers did not have anyone wearing a life jacket.

It would probably be too late for passengers to save their lives if they waited until danger came, before they put on their life jackets.

Bumboats are more at risk when it comes to the unpredictability of sea conditions. Therefore, it should be mandatory for everyone on board to wear life jackets from the time they embark until they disembark.

M. Lukshumayeh

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2016, with the headline 'Enforce use of life jackets on bumboats'. Print Edition | Subscribe