A recent Kariba Info notice warning visitors of the requirement for all boat drivers to have a valid Boat Drivers Licence while using the lake and the necessity for all person in small craft to wear a life jacket while underway resulted in a number of enquiries regarding licensing requirements etc. The notes below hopefully clarify the various issues.
LAUNCH MASTERS CERTIFICATE (BOAT DRIVERS LICENCE)
In terms of the Inland Waters Shipping Act and Regulations all persons in control (driving) of any boat on Kariba or any other designated inland water must be in possession of the relevant Launch Masters Certificate. Any person caught driving a boat without a licence are liable to be arrested. It should be noted that unlicensed persons, such as children, caught driving even in the company of a licensed driver may cause the responsible person to be arrested.
Statutory Instrument 41 of 1997. Inland Waters Shipping (amendment) regulations 1997 (no12)
Competent masters required for certain vessels
67. No vessel shall be used upon inland waters unless it is under the command of a master who is a holder of a valid certificate of competence issued in his name and in respect of the vessel concerned.
Any boat may legally stopped by Police, National Parks officials, the Lake Captain or any member of his staff to check for licences and life jackets.
Application forms for a Certificate of Competency (testing) can be obtained from Lake Navigation control stations at Kariba, Lake Chivero, Vic Falls. and The current charge for both the tests and the licence is $40.
Launch Masters Certificates require applicants to complete both oral test and practical tests. The oral test is conducted in Harare and the practical test on Lake Chivero. The tests are based on the Manual of River and Lakemanship obtainable from Printflow (Pvt) Ltd – Government Printers.
The regulations state that life jackets must be worn at all times by all passengers on a boat whilst it is underway. When stopped for fishing, tied up or not moving life jackets may be removed but must be present in the boat, one for the driver and every passenger on board.
See inland waters shipping regulations: Use of life jackets on open vessels
REGISTRATION OF BOATS
All boats used on designated Inland Waters are required to be registered by the Ministry of Transport, carry designated safety equipment and undergo periodic inspections. Ministry of Transport Staff (Lake Captain and his subordinates) have the authority to fully check out any boat for safety, sea worthiness etc any at any time.
Applications for Boat Registration are done through Lake Navigation Control Stations.
The applications can be facilitated through Malcolm Atwell of Sportz Marine who hold necessary documents and manuals. Contact 0712604432.