The maritime safety directorate of my Department published a consultation paper late last year seeking views in respect of the adequacy of legislation regarding the carrying and wearing of life jackets or personal flotation devices, PFDs. The maritime safety directorate requested interested parties to respond by 31 December 2002. However, in order to encourage the widest possible participation in the consultation process replies were accepted until the end of January 2003.
More than 100 submissions were received and the Deputy will appreciate that these required detailed and careful consideration. The preliminary results have been collated and a report is now being drafted on the outcome of the review. When I receive the report and its recommendations, I will bring forward proposals for any necessary legislative change as quickly as possible thereafter.
As part of this review, the directorate has already brought forward the date for implementation of new safety regulations for passenger boats. A number of information seminars have also been organised to promote these new regulations. In addition, the directorate is also completing an examination of regulations applicable to larger domestic passenger ships and a consultation paper will be issued shortly in this regard.