Doha 31st July 2013 : A new marine law making it mandatory for boat drivers to acquire a licence is being studied, a senior official has said. The new law is expected to be issued within two years.
Those who want to get the licence will have to attend a training course on navigation and related issues to gain necessary skills for steering and handling a boat at the Coasts and Borders Security Department (CBSD) of the Ministry of Interior.
The law will also specify technical details such as the engine type and capacity, colour, age and other safety features of the vessel for a potential registration process. Small boat drivers are not required to hold any licence now.
Sea-goers should be very careful to abide by all safety requirements. For instance, every person in the boat must have a life jacket, children in particular should be watched all the time and the person handling the vessel should have the basic knowledge to deal with sea currents, said Brigadier Ali Ahmed al-Badeed, CBSD director.
“When venturing out on a small boat, don’t go too far as the sea is not an easy thing to deal with. Also, make sure that your mobile phone is still receiving signals. In case of an emergency do not panic, call 999, specifying your location and situation and rescue personnel would reach you as soon as possible,” he said
He said boats should register with the police cabins located at different posts throughout the coastline of the country. “They should also indicate the time they are expected to return, so if they are too late, patrols may be dispatched in search of them. The number of passengers in a boat should be compatible with the size of the vessel and they should carry the necessary equipment.”
Al-Badeed said that those who did not follow these rules would not be given access to the sea.