The Marine Dep’t, Public Transport Agency at Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), has set a number of stipulations & controls governing the operation of the Water Taxi in Dubai Emirate with a view to ensuring the highest levels of safety & security as well as a safe & smooth water transit for all.
Explaining these stipulations, the CEO of RTA Public Transport Agency Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dosari stated that the RTA had set safety & security at the forefront of its priority list as this aspect was considered critically important for public transport means, particularly the water transport means.
“The Water Taxi is one of the tourist & recreational transit means offered by the RTA to serve the residents, tourists and visitors of Dubai Emirate hailing from all over the globe. These operational controls set for the water taxi are summarized in that the number of crew and passengers on board must not exceed 12 persons, the Water Taxi must not be used off Dubai Creek if the wave height is more than 3 inches or if the wind speed is more than 15 knots per hour, and passengers or crew are not allowed to sit at the external backend of the Water Taxi i.e. outside passengers compartment in case of sailing off Dubai Creek.
“Before the start of the Water Taxi journey, the operability of all navigational and communication systems has to be checked by the crew who have to ensure that all safety equipment are on board, comply with the speed limits specified by the concerned maritime authorities in the Emirate, drive the Water Taxi at a safe speed throughout the duration of the journey, abide by the international navigation rules enshrined in the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 and amendments thereof, maintain constant contact with the concerned maritime authorities in the Emirate through informing them on the route of the voyage, and contact them once again upon return. It is incumbent on the Water Taxi crew to work within the areas and stations specified by the Public Transport Agency, and adhere to the specific fare as well as the working days & timing set for the Water Taxi,” stated Al Dosari.
Explaining the requirements and technical specifications available in the Water Taxi, the CEO of the Public Transport Agency said, “The Water Taxi is fitted with a number of devices, including three handheld fire extinguishers fulfilling the required technical specifications and distributed as per the safety plan, guidelines of safety measures to be taken in case of emergency, means & communication at distress times, licensed wireless device covering the marine (Area A1) or any other device that covers territorial waters, navigational lights as per the requirements of Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 and amendments thereof, and Liferafts equipped with (SOLA B PACK) in numbers sufficient to both the crew and passengers. These rafts can open and inflate automatically once thrown into the water and must be certified by international rating authorities. There must also be 12 internationally accredited life-jackets for adults, in addition to two easily accessible lifebuoys for children.”
“There must also be two internationally accredited lifebuoys attached with a 30-meter long rope fitted with a self-ignition lighting lamp, magnetic compass readable at night, warning device to be used when needed, sea radar or taking certain measures to ensure navigation safety during the lack or low visibility, Geographical Positioning System (GPS), Automatic Identification System (AIS), flashlights strong enough to be used in emergency cases, two manual distress flares (Hand Flares), two smoke distress signals (Buoyant Smoke Signals), two Parachute distress flares (Rocket Parachute Flares), first aid kit, water-resistant handheld flashlight, repair tools kit, pump to suck water accumulating inside the Water Taxi, ventilation means for indoor areas, and an anchor attached to a rope long enough to fit the water depth in the operation area,” he elaborated.
Al Dosari noted that the RTA has trained and qualified the Water Taxi staff to be fully ready and prepared to handle any emergency situation, and use the systems & equipment on board to ensure passengers safety and ensure a safe, smooth and enjoyable transit.