Every year, during the summer season, when several enjoy the beach and go to sea, Transport Malta organises an educational campaign to raise awareness and help minimise the risk of accidents at sea.
The Campaign Be Safe at Sea focuses both on boat owners and swimmers. The major focus on the former is two fold. The first is speed limit. Unfortunately several take liberty with speed and ignore the limits. These abuses can lead to serious accidents. There might easily be swimmers or divers that are rendered invisible by the waves. The boat might also overturn or crash with another vessel, with serious consequences for passengers. Last year 37% of the contraventions issued by Transport Maltas Maritime enforcement section were for over speeding. Over speeding was the most frequent breach by far.
Thus, Transport Malta encourages boat owners to respect others and stick to the speed limits. The main limit is 10 knots in harbours, 200 metres away from rocky shores and 300 metres from sandy beaches. The speed limit goes down to 3 knots in marinas and in proximity of other moorings.
The campaign also focuses on raising awareness on the dangers of driving a boat under the influence. Alcohol and other substances, will among other effects, greatly reduce the ability of drivers to react in case of an emergency and thus greatly increasing the chance of an accident. It is unacceptable to drive under the influence both on land and at sea.
Transport Maltas own maritime enforcement squad continuously patrol bays around Malta and Gozo. They serve as a deterrent and help maintain discipline at sea. Besides engaging law breakers, they inspect hundreds of vessels to make sure they are following the rules.
Until now, the team has already inspected over 1000 vessels, issued close to 300 contraventions and over 100 warnings.
The Campaign Be Safe at Sea is also aimed at swimmers. The Authority has prepared 56 swimmer zones within the most popular bays around the Maltese Islands. This year two new ones were added over last year, one in Saint Thomas Bay in Marsascala and another in Kalanka, Delimara.
No vessel can enter or moor with these swimmer zones. While swimmers need not swim within these zones exclusively, we encourage them to do so, whenever possible.
Concluding, the campaign Be Safe at Sea encourages both swimmers and boat owners not to litter either on the beaches or at sea and encourage the public to enjoy the season without accidents, by showing respect to all and towards the environment.