Maritime Compliance for Water Sports (Sept 2023)

FHTA emphasizes the critical importance of its members’ strict adherence to the guidelines outlined in the Maritime Transport Act 2013, a measure aimed at safeguarding the well-being of participants engaging in water sports pursuits. These regulations serve as a paramount framework in mitigating potential risks and guaranteeing the secure navigation of these activities. Section 14-3 of the Act delineates the following mandates:

Water sports activities scheduled within Fiji’s sheltered or inshore waters, with the potential to impact maritime navigation, necessitate prior approval from the Chief Executive Officer. The significance of this prerequisite cannot be overstated, as non-compliance bears the weight of an infringement offense, with a possible fine of up to $1,000.

Securing approval for water sports activities entails the submission of a meticulously detailed Safety Plan. This plan must encompass vital emergency protocols, encompassing provisions for medical evacuations, well-equipped rescue teams, efficient communication channels, and comprehensive safety gear.

Active participants in water sports endeavors are bound to adhere to directives issued by the Chief Executive Officer. It is imperative that the seamless navigation of ocean-going vessels remains undisturbed. Disregard for these directives constitutes an infringement offense, and penalties of $500 may ensue.

Owners of hotels and resorts offering water sports activities to their guests are strongly advised to diligently apply for approval from the Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, these entities are obliged to uphold and strictly follow all stipulations outlined within this specific section of the Act.

Furthermore, as a testament to our unwavering commitment to safety, the Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association (FHTA) is dedicated to furnishing all its members with a user-friendly water sports safety template. This template serves as an invaluable resource, meticulously designed to ensure comprehensive adherence to regulatory protocols, consequently enhancing the overall safety and security of water-based recreational activities.