Some foreign flag fishing vessels in Cape Town are shaping up their vessels in compliance with safety protocols at sea. In Cape Town, two Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessels are bringing out life rafts and fire extinguishers for service. Every fishing company has the legal obligation to ensure that their firefighting equipment and appliances are checked and serviced regularly. In the event of an emergency, it is vital that the equipment is in good condition.
The International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) International Convention for the Safety of Life at Se (SOLAS), dated 1997, specifies minimum standards for ship construction, equipment, and operation compatible with their safety. Regulation 7 of Chapter II states that “fire extinguishers shall be periodically examined and subjected to any administration may be required.”
A life raft is an important safety appliance on a ship that provides refuge from open water conditions to the crew after abandoning an unseaworthy vessel.
Stella Maris Cape Town is pleased to acknowledge the development. Fr. Rico Talisic, the Port Chaplain, reflected upon a tragic maritime incident that occurred on February 11, 2019, involving the Taiwanese-flagged vessel named JUN RUNG. The ship had caught fire en route to the Falkland Islands. Among the crew of sixty-nine individuals hailing from China, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines, a total of sixty-four were successfully rescued, but tragically, five lives were lost. The swift response of another Taiwanese-flagged ship, ZI DA YE, played a crucial role in their rescue.
Stella Maris Cape Town hopes and prays that all fishing vessels in the ports of South Africa prioritize the safety of their vessels and fishers. This is done by regularly checking and servicing firefighting equipment and appliances. No one wishes for accidents on vessels. However, when a vessel is up to date with safety requirements, it could prevent or lessen marine fatalities.
Lastly, Stella Maris Cape Town appreciation goes to SAMSA for heeding its request to inspect HUNG IU no. 313, which was found with a couple of safety issues.