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NMSA commences Operation “Overload” - Papua New Guinea National Maritime Safety Authority

The National Maritime Safety Authority (NMSA) in close collaboration with the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary will be conducting a special operation over the Christmas & New Year period to ensure that ships carrying passengers are not overloaded.

Operation Overload will be conducted with and supported by Water Police compliance and will commence mid-December.

NMSA will be deploying officers authorised to exercise the Authority’s powers prescribed in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1975 to a number of sea ports and other places of embarkation and disembarkation around the country.

NMSA Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Unas said the role of the officers, who will be designated “Maritime Safety Officers” for the purpose of the operation, includes inspection of ship safety certificates and the monitoring of passengers embarking and disembarking ships to ensure passengers numbers do not exceed the maximum number shown on the safety certificate.

He said: “Instances of non-compliance will be reported to NMSA management to decide on what action to take. This may include detention of the ship, cancellation or suspension of crew certificates of competency and prosecution.”

Mr Unas said although NMSA has powers to enforce compliance with the Merchant Shipping Act, however, it is hoped the ship operators, in the interest of their ships, crews and passengers will comply with the law and NMSA will not need to exercise its powers.

He said: “NMSA seeks the assistance and cooperation of ship operators and traveling public to make sea travel safer over this festival season.”

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