We thank Mr M. Lukshumayeh for his feedback ("Enforce use of life jackets on bumboats"; last Friday).
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) takes a serious view of the safety of passengers at sea.
While it is mandatory under the MPA (Harbour Craft) Regulations for bumboats to provide enough life jackets for every member of crew and passenger allowed on board, there is no requirement for passengers to don them during the passage, as the bumboat's enclosed seating area provides a safety buffer, reducing the risk of passengers falling overboard.
However, life jackets must be worn during emergency or high-risk situations, at the instruction of the vessel master.
This requirement is similar to that in other jurisdictions, such as Australia and Hong Kong.
MPA conducts regular inspections to ensure bumboats comply with safety regulations and that life-saving equipment on board, including life jackets, is well maintained.
MPA will continue to engage bumboat operators to improve safety at sea.
Daknashamoorthy Ganasen (Captain)
Director (Operations) and Port Master
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore