Speedboat passengers are treated poorly at the Supenaam and Parika stellings

Dear Editor,

On December 21 at 09:30hrs, I was at the Parika Stelling in a speedboat destined for Supenaam waiting while it was being loaded.  Already in the boat were two mothers, each with a baby. Another speedboat (licence number given) pulled up alongside the boat I was in, and the engines (2-75 HP Yamaha) were next to my seat. The Captain left the engine idling with the fumes coming into my face and more seriously those of the babies, who had to breathe all the fumes. When he was told about this, the captain said it was his turn to load next so he could not cut off the engine. Myself and the other passengers had to inhale the fumes for about five minutes.

I frequent the Supenaam-Parika speedboat service and have recognised little or no regard for passengers, despite the fact that there are monitors, who apparently are only concerned about whose turn it is to load next. I have seen a Bowman on one of the boats being adamant about collecting his fare at Supenaam before the boat leaves, instead of ensuring that all passengers are wearing life jackets. He was so focused on his money that he did not hear one passenger asking him repeatedly for a life jacket, resulting in the boat leaving the stelling with the passenger still without his jacket.

I would have spoken to the monitor at Parika about the first incident, but was afraid of being embarrassed, because I had one experience which resulted in me looking like a fool at Supenaam.

I was in the front seat of a boat, the water was calm and no water was coming into the boat. When I reached Supenaam I realised the cushion on the seat was wet, wetting my pants and that of the two other passengers in the front seat. I protested on the wharf and was yelled at by a man at the stelling who was collecting the fare, and no one sought to listen to my concerns.
It is very disturbing to note the way passengers are spoken to and treated at both stellings. It appears as though passengers are begging for a drop.

Yours faithfully,
Romeo Richards

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