The Sierra Leone Maritime Administration SLMA has contracted an expert to report on commercial Ferries and hovercraft that are operational in the country. According to the SLMA Boss Mr Philip Lukulay “the exercise is with the view to ensuring the sea worthiness” of the ferries and the hovercraft.
He pointed out that they have secured the services of Mr Willem Wynand Deyzel to examine the Mahera, Fanta and Murzuk Ferries and the “Prince Michael Double O Seven” Hovercraft at Aberdeen Creek, Aberdeen Village.
A Chartered Engineer and fellow of the Institute of Marine Engineers, Science and Technology in London, Mr Deyzel is also past Principal Surveyor for Africa and President of the Institute of Marine Engineers in South Africa.
Mr Deyzel told journalists that he had inspected the deck, engine and management of all the ferries and the hovercraft.
The Chartered Engineer said he discovered that the management systems in all of the sea transports he inspected were very bad and that there was no proper system in place to verify the number of people on board those transports. He pointed out that in case of an accident there will be no data which anybody could go by for rescue or any other intervention.
Mr Deyzel also noted the poor staff conditions in some of the ferries stating that they need immediate attention. However the expert inspector stopped short of commenting about his finding on his inspections of the engines.
SLMA boss Philip Lukulay assured journalists that after the South African expert submits his comprehensive report to the Ministry of Transport and Communication they will take the necessary action based on his recommendations.
The SLMA was established as an autonomous body for the registration of ships and other vessels and for the licensing and safety of maritime personnel along with the regulations and development generally of maritime, coastal and inland water transport.