UAE: Boat company charged with negligence in Sharjah accident that killed expat; police issue warning to other operators

The emirate's authorities have found that 'many other boat operators' are violating safety regulations, with some caught exceeding their vessels' capacities


Afkar Ali Ahmed

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File photo
File photo

Published: Tue 25 Apr 2023, 5:39 PM

Last updated: Tue 25 Apr 2023, 10:49 PM

Sharjah authorities have launched a crackdown on violators of boat regulations in the emirate, following the capsizing incident that killed an Indian expat off Khor Fakkan beach last Friday.

The management of the tourist boat company behind the fatal accident — which also injured four passengers — has now been charged with negligence and referred to the public prosecution, the Sharjah Police chief told Khaleej Times.

Maj-Gen Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police, said that following the incident, an emergency response team was dispatched to the site.

The team launched an investigation that led to the arrest of the boat's management and all staff on duty. The probe revealed that overloading was the cause of the accident.

Maj-Gen Al Shamsi said the boat was carrying a total of 16 people — including the staff on duty — when the vessel could only accommodate a maximum of 10. The investigation showed that the company took in more people to make higher profits.

The deadly capsizing accident prompted the police to issue a warning to all other boat operators in the emirate, carrying out inspections to check their compliance with safety rules.

Police found that many other companies are not following regulations, with many caught exceeding their vessels' capacities.

Maj-Gen Al Shamsi urged the boat firms to straighten up their operations and make sure all policies are strictly followed. Exercise caution when venturing out into the sea and ensure all passengers are wearing life jackets, he added.

Special task force for monitoring

Sharjah authorities, including the municipality and the economic development department (SEDD), have ramped up inspections of boat operations — warning companies against taking advantage of the spike in demand at the expense of safety.

While these companies were confirmed to have valid licences, a special team will be monitoring their activities, according to the SEDD. An official of the municipality said inspections will also cover Jet Ski rental companies.


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