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Hydrofoil owners required to install automatic identification

Update: October, 11/2013 - 08:50
A Petro Express hydrofoil travels on the Sai Gon-Vung Tau route. All hydrofoils will be equipped with the automatic identification system by the beginning of next month to ensure passenger safety.—VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Phan

HA NOI (VNS)— The Automatic Identification System (AIS) must be installed on all hydrofoils by the beginning of next month to ensure passenger safety, the Ministry of Transport has stated.

The system is supposed to satisfy current standards and, when used, is connected with the port authority's control system for the area where vessels are operating.

Under a document issued last Friday, the ministry also requested the port authorities of HCM City, Vung Tau, and Hai Phong to define areas where hydrofoils' speed should be limited. The restrictions must be set out before the end of this month.

Related agencies, such as the Domestic Waterway Department and Register Department, have been asked to regularly monitor high-speed hydrofoils' journeys via AIS, the document said.

According to Nguyen Xuan Sang, director of the HCM City Port Authority, AIS helps port authorities manage the route, speed and location of hydrofoils, while helping to quickly identify unexpected incidents.

"Vessel owners all advocate the installation of AIS," Sang said.

Waterway Police Department statistics under HCM City Police showed the city had 34 accidents involving hydrofoils in the past six years, with two deaths.

The latest happened nearly two months ago when Greenline B5 hydrofoil, on its way to Vung Tau City, had its glass casing broken by waves, causing water to overflow into the prow, sparking panic among the 75 passengers.

Last month, the Ministry of Transport inspected hydrofoil operations in HCM City and Vung Tau City, detecting many violations concerning traffic safety. — VNS


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