GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has detained a boat and its operator on Saturday (Nov 20) for ferrying seven passengers without a valid licence.
State MMEA director Capt Abd Razak Mohamed said the unregistered boat was spotted by a MMEA patrol 1.3 nautical miles east off Batu Maung during Ops Pertiwi at about 5.55pm.
"During the inspection, we found seven passengers aged between 38 and 56 years old, on board the boat manned by a boat skipper who failed to produce a valid licence to ferry passengers during the inspection," said Abd Razak.
Abd Razak said the boat, the skipper and all passengers on board were escorted back to the Batu Uban marine police jetty before they were brought to the state MMEA headquarters.
Abd Razak said the case is being investigated under Section 474 (1) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 which carries a maximum RM10,000 fine penalty.
He urged all boat owners and skippers to always comply with the existing procedures and regulations at sea.
"Passengers also have to make sure that they are using legal ocean transportation so that their safety is secure if there are any mishaps," he added.