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04.01.2005 Regional News

Boat owners urged to maintain vessels to save beaches of wrecks

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Tema, Jan. 04, GNA - Mr Samuel Evans Ashong Narh, Tema Municipal Chief Executive has urged boat owners to cultivate the culture of maintenance of their boats to ensure their lifespan to save the beaches of wrecks and pave the way for smooth navigation.

This practice would not only keep the boats in safe conditions but also help to save the lives of crewmembers.

He expressed regret that some boat owners brought in vessels that could work for only short periods into the country and due to the lack of proper maintenance were left dotted along the beaches creating inconvenience to the smooth administration of the marine industry. Mr Narh made the call at the official welcoming ceremony of the MV Logos II carrying assorted books, which docked at the Tema harbour 19 days ago on a visit.

The official welcoming was organised by Ghana Evangelism Committee.

The Master of the vessel, Captain Dirk Calenbrander said the "book-ship", which had sailed from the Caribbean was on her last voyage and would be decommissioned back home because it was old. The vessel was built in 1967 in Spain.

The MCE was amazed to hear that a ship, which was to be dismantled and be used as scraps appeared fairly new and kept neat and urged Ghana's boat owners to emulate the shinning example of the 200 crew members from 45 countries on board the vessel to maintain their boats. A few years ago the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA) was compelled to lay-up some obsolete vessels because of poor maintenance and had occupied space along the beaches.

Some boat owners managed to repair their vessels while others were beyond repairs and had to be grounded.

Mr Narh urged the crew to make the prices of the books affordable to meet the pocket of the ordinary Ghanaian and urged the public to take advantage of their visit to buy books, read and broaden their knowledge. He also entreated the crewmembers to find time off their schedule to visit places of interest to enjoy the Ghanaian hospitality and culture with the view to marketing the nation to the world.

Captain Calenbranded expressed satisfaction of the Ghanaian hospitality as it was exhibited by the rousing welcome by the Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches in Tema at the harbour. Meanwhile the book-ship sailed early this morning for Lagos en-route home. While in the country, the ship was opened to the public for excursion and the crew held educative programmes on religion and other topical issues for selected youth.

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