Closer monitoring of ship safety around Bonaire

The harbor office and Shipping Inspectorate, on behalf of
the “Maritiem overleg Bonaire”, informs about the rules for the transportation of passengers on ships. Following the sinking of the on Bonaire registered motor yacht Sherwanda, quite some discussion arose on (social) media. It appeared that it is not clear for everyone if and when boats are allowed to take passengers for a fee.

Certificates necessary
Ships are only allowed to carry paying passengers, if the necessary certificates have been issued for the ship, which also are still valid at the time of departure. At this moment there are no ships registered on Bonaire that are in the possession of certificates that allow trips to Curacao, Klein Curacao and/or open sea (e.g. fishing charters).

For the safety of passengers, it is important to know if a ship is certified. Without regulation and certification, passengers do not know whether a ship is suitable for the trip from and to Curacao. They are neither aware if the correct safety and fire-fighting equipment is on board. And if the crew has the right certification to sail the ship.

On behalf of the passenger safety, this will be monitored strictly, in cooperation with the Coast Guard, Kmar and Customs Department. If necessary, the authorities will enforce the regulations.

Travelling with family or friends
Leisure crafts that travel on sea with family and/or friends, unlike the certified ships, have never been checked and will neither be checked by the local port authorities and/or the inspectors of the shipping inspectorate. So they are not inspected for seaworthiness and correct safety and fire-fighting equipment.

Information about certification
Further information about the procedure for certification can be obtained at NSICN via e-mail: ns***@ri***********.com , or phone: (+ 599) 715 8351. It is also possible to come by at the Shipping Inspectorate in the Customs port office, top floor Wilhelminaplein 1, Kralendijk, Bonaire.