TASAC moves to enhance search, rescue skills

TANZANIA Shipping Agencies Corporation (TASAC) has moved to enhance search, rescue systems and mechanisms in the aviation and maritime sectors to tap opportunities arising from the growing tourism and blue economy.

The corporation in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is currently conducting training to security organs and other actors, which among others, include the Navy Section of the Tanzania Police Force, Tanzania People’s Defence Force, Tanzania Fire and Rescue Force. Others are the Zanzibar Maritime Authority, Tanzania Port Authority and the Dar es Salaam Maritime Institute and Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA).

The Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Dr Ally Possi, commended the initiative saying it will help to address challenges facing the blue economy and cargo shipment through various ports.

Dr Possi said such skills are crucial in dealing with various disasters which may occur in the aviation and marine sectors.

“TASAC is doing well to adopt such initiatives to avoid safety challenges, which if not well addressed may hinder maritime and aviation sectors from contributing to the government’s efforts of reaping more benefits  from the  blue economies,” Dr Possi said at the opening of the  five day training held in Dar es Salaam.

He stressed that, the government has invested heavily in the aviation and maritime sectors by renovating ports, constructing airports, procuring new aircrafts, a move which has seen tourism and transportation sectors boom.

“Therefore, search and rescue skills are vital to ensure the safety of vessels in our waters, as well as to promote international recognition which will in turn, attract more foreign and domestic investment and create more jobs for Tanzanians while promoting regional economies,”

For his part, TASAC Director General Mr Kaimu Mkeyenge, said that in principle, member states of IMO which Tanzania is an active member, are obliged to implement the 1979 agreement on search and rescue in maritime accidents.

He added that without fulfilling the requirements of the agreement, Tanzania would encounter difficulties in dealing with maritime accidents.

Elaborating, he emphasised on the need to intensify such skills to enable all stakeholders involved in maritime and aviation search and rescue missions undergo various training courses and programmes.

The Chief Air Traffic controller from the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) Mr Nziku Shukuru, stated that his institution is responsible for search and rescue operations in aviation sector, where skills garnered from such training programmes will help them build their capacity to oversee all search and rescue operations in the sector.

Equally, Mr Shukuru elaborated that traffic controllers require frequent training to catch up with such skills and changing technology and assuring air travellers that they were in safe hands or to be rescued in case of water or dry land aircraft accidents.

“Air traffic controllers work for twenty-four hours to make sure that air navigation processes are done carefully and professionally. They are the first one to detect accidents and hence, such skills are of importance for them to offer rescue missions immediately,” he said.

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