MARINE accidents in Tanzanian territorial waters have claimed 245 lives between July 2012 and June 2013, while no incidents of piracy were reported during the period, it was said in Dar es Salaam.
The Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA) Director of Maritime Safety and Security, Capt King Chiragi said during that period 19 accidents involving 625 people were reported.
"Out of the 625 people involved in the accidents on Tanzania Search and Rescue Region, 380 people were rescued while 245 died," he said.
Capt Chiragi was also quick to point out that they had not received reports of a single incident of piracy on Tanzania's territorial waters or environmental threats due to oil spills during that same period.
He further said it is the responsibility of boat owners to provide rescue education to their passengers before starting any journey, as it will help them to know what to do whenever an accident occurs instead of leaving the burden to regulatory authorities.
"Security is not a responsibility of regulatory bodies alone but the people should also participate in the process as it is for their own good, it is best for them to report to SUMATRA whenever they get suspicious of security of the boat before boarding," he said.
He said SUMATRA is doing its best to provide weather forecast information from the meteorological agency and insist sailors to properly use them. "We make sure sailors get weather information before they depart and we also make sure it is safe for them to travel," he elaborated. He also said that SUMATRA has inspected and registered 1,701 small boats out of 4,634 which has been inspected in a period of one year. He said that in making sure that they regulate them easily, they are still inspecting small boats and so far have been able to record more than 30,866 boats. "Boats which have not been inspected and granted licences are not allowed to operate at any cost as they contribute much to accidents," he said.