The Dubai Maritime City Authority (DMCA), the government authority charged with regulating, coordinating and supervising all aspects of Dubai’s maritime sector, recently organized a safety campaign – ‘Safety of Life at Sea’ – in collaboration with Dubai Creek Customs to spread awareness among operators of commercial wooden dhows (boats) operating in Dubai Creek. This initiative is in line with DMCA’s strategy of adopting the best maritime practices to create a safe and sustainable marine environment that supports government efforts to establish Dubai as a global leading maritime hub.
The Safety of Life at Sea campaign, which aims to maintain a high level of marine safety and adopt best practices in this field, was held for five days in November and two days in December. The awareness drive discussed the importance of having safety equipments such as lifejackets, lifebuoys, handheld, smoke and parachute flares; and life rafts on commercial vessels as well as their appropriate use and storage. It also emphasized on the significance of having a Hydrostatic Release Unit (HRU) onboard. HRU allows a life raft to launch automatically if there is no time for crew to launch it manually.
Captain Khamis Weld Gmeel, Senior Manager, Marine Traffic Operations, Dubai Maritime City Authority, said: “Dubai enjoys a leading position as a global maritime hub that attracts different commercial marine vessels. Commercial wooden dhows are the mainstay of Dubai’s maritime culture, which has led us to launch this initiative in addition to other awareness campaigns that reduce accidents. Our latest campaign is a further addition to several successful awareness and regulatory drives launched over the past year. We expect the ‘Safety of Life at Sea’ campaign to further enhance the safety of seafarers as they abide by proper precautionary measures.”
“DMCA has always adopted international best practices to minimize fatalities as well as limit the water-polluting activities of sea vessels. DMCA will continue to play a key role to develop and regulate the emirate’s maritime operation to create a vibrant and safe maritime environment that is aligned with the vision and directives of our wise leadership,” concluded Weld Gmeel.
The ‘Safety of Life at Sea’ campaign highlighted the importance of the stability and safety of ships during cargo operations and the entrance and exit of ports. The drive enlightened operators about proper ways to stow and secure cargo to prevent their shifting during bad weather conditions. It also highlighted the duty of the captain to arrange for an appropriate and effective watch of the ship safely moored or anchored at port, even under normal circumstances, to ensure safety. The vessel operators were also trained on how to act and whom to contact in case of fire in Al Khor. They were informed about the restricted zones in Dubai’s waters and the purpose of buoyage marking as a safety measure.