The Seychelles Cabinet of Ministers has approved a policy that ensures mandatory basic training for seafarers who own, work on, or operate watercraft in Seychelles’ waters.
The new policy was announced by Captain Joachim Valmont, Director General of the Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration (SMSA) on Friday June 8, and is due to come into effect in January 2019. Valmont said he hoped the move will improve safety at sea. “The training will not only be a plus for seafarers, but will be a benefit for those in distress at sea,” Valmont said.
The Seychelles is made up of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean. Apart from using watercraft as a means of travel, water-based recreational activities such as jet-skiing, scuba diving trips, snorkeling trips and parasailing are popular amongst locals and the 350 000 tourists that visit the archipelago each year.
Valmont said this new regulation will align SMSA with the standards of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Along with the new policy of basic training, SMSA will also introduce an exam to test the ability and knowledge of jet skis and other motorised water vessels. The SMSA will also start creating a database of the number and types of boats operating around the archipelago.