Lifejacket donations to boost marine safety in the Torres Strait

Friday 10 July 2015
Marine safety in the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula area is getting a boost with the donation of 1400 children’s lifejackets as part of the Torres Strait Marine Safety Program (TSMSP) School Based Maritime Safety Education Project.
Media Release

The primary focus of the TSMSP is to improve and promote boating safety in the Torres Strait, which will help reduce the number of search and rescue operations in the area and support the development of the region’s coastal maritime industry.

Maritime Safety Queensland Cairns Regional Harbour Master and Chair of the TSMSP Steering Committee, Captain Michael Barnett, said his organisation was proud of the milestone achieved by the TSMSP.

'To be delivering an additional 1400 brand new lifejackets to children in the Torres Strait region as a part of the TSMSP is a huge achievement,' Capt. Michael Barnett said.

'Cairns based marine transport company Sea Swift will be delivering and distributing the lifejackets free of charge, including to remote communities with the Torres Strait and Northern Peninsula area.

'The generosity shown by all the partnering organisations will go a long way to help achieve safer seas in the Torres Strait.'

Sea Swift spokesman, Victor Perazza, said the educational programs offered by the TSMSP are vital to the local maritime industry.

'These lifejackets will be heading directly to younger people within the Torres Strait community, including the family members of our staff,' Sea Swift spokesman Victor Perazza.

'We're proud to be involved in the TSMSP, which will ultimately provide our community with a safer marine environment.

The Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) Acting Chairperson, Mr Aven S. Noah, said the provision of life jackets was an integral part of enhancing marine safety.

'Living in the Torres Strait means heavy reliance on seaborne transport for all members of the community, so it makes sense to roll out educational programs for local school children,' Mr Noah said.

'The TSRA is proud to have provided the funding to secure these lifejackets for the future leaders of our local community.'

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Chief Executive Officer, Mick Kinley, said the TSMSP has already had a direct impact on maritime safety in the region.

'The Torres Strait Marine Safety Program is making real impact in reducing the number of marine incidents and saving the lives of seafarers across the Torres Strait.

'We have seen a 50 per cent reduction in maritime incident trends, more than 60 per cent reduction in search and rescue operations and most importantly, there has been no loss of lives during the operational lifespan of the TSMSP.'

Twelve educational campuses have already received marine safety education workshops incorporating the distribution of approximately 1000 children's lifejackets and marine safety equipment educational kits.

This is the second delivery of children's lifejackets to be transported to the Torres Strait as part of the TSMSP, which will allow eleven educational campuses to take part in Marine Safety Educational Workshops.

The TSMSP is a partnership between Maritime Safety Queensland, Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Torres Strait Regional Authority, Queensland Police Service and National Maritime Safety Authority of Government of Papua New Guinea.

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