Written Answers. - Marine Safety.

Ivor Callely


49 Mr. Callely asked the Minister for the Marine and Natural Resources if he has satisfied himself with the inspections and checks carried out to boats and vessels carrying fee paying passengers; if he has further satisfied himself that, in view of the tourist summer season, additional inspections and checks are carried out to ensure compliance; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16985/01]

In accordance with my Department's certification and licensing regimes the Department's Marine Survey Office surveys all passenger vessels every year and all passenger boats every two years. My Department's surveyors also carry out spot checks at various times, including at the weekends during the peak season. My Department's policy is to prosecute owners or hirers of vessels which are found to be illegally carrying passengers. In addition, the Garda authorities are notified of those vessels and boats which hold certificates or licences to carry passengers and local Garda stations should be aware of which vessels are operating legally in their areas.