KOTA KINABALU: A couldn’t-care-less attitude still prevails among some tour boat operators despite the Jan 28 tragedy in which four people drowned after their catamaran capsized off Pulau Mengalum.
A special operation, dubbed Ops Mengalum by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), found that some did not emphasise on safety measures such as ensuring proper lifejackets and good boat condition.
Lifejackets that were not in working conditions were still being used simply to meet their licence requirements.
And, boat operators were still carrying more passengers than allowed and landing at illegal jetties.
MMEA Sabah and Labuan director First Admiral Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the one-week operation from Feb 18 conducted checks on 115 passenger boats ferrying 657 passengers, mostly tourists from South Korea, China and Germany, to various locations.
He said 19 arrests were made for offences under the Sabah Marine and Ports Department Enactment.
“These offenders were compounded with fines totalling RM7,900,” Mohd Zubil added.