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Dubai police warn unqualified captains cause accidents

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Police blame unqualified captains for most of the yachting accidents in Dubai during the past two years according to the National of Abu Dhabi. During that time period, twelve yachting accidents were registered in Dubai with the majority involving people with no formal qualifications, according to the director of the Ports Police Station.

According to the publication, Lt. Col. Al Mazyoud said that all vessels operating in the emirate’s waters and all their crew must be licensed by the Dubai Maritime City Authority.

He said officers were surveying tourism companies that operate yachts to explain the dangers of employing unqualified crew. The officers are also explaining the ramifications of non-compliance, including fines of Dh50,000 and up to two years jail time.

“Many of these yachts are run by basically anyone,” Lt. Col. Al Mazyoud said in the report. “They sometimes get someone who is working as a cook on-board to drive it.”

Lt. Col. Al Mazyoud urged tourists and travel agents to take responsibility for checking that hired vessels are in compliance.

Previous accidents involved a captain who lost control of his yacht and hit a breakwater, another that collided with a rock and two other yachts that collided with each other.

“The majority of these accidents occur because the captains of the yachts lack the skills and experience to deal with situations which might occur at sea,” said Lt Col Al Mazyoud.

“They are ignorant of the maritime navigation rules,” Lt. Col. Al Mazyoud said. “They do not recognise the different guidance signs and as a consequence they get themselves, and the tourists who have rented the vessel, into trouble.”

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