MERSING: More than 80 boat operators in the district undewent urine and Covid-19 screening tests in an operation conducted by the Johor Police yesterday.

Johor Police chief Datuk Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay (pix) said the operation which was held at the Mersing district police headquarters (IPD) was a proactive measure taken to ensure the safety of passengers.

He said the operation that also involved the Health Ministry and Marine Department would be carried out continuously to ensure that operators comply with the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the government.

“There are three passenger jetties in the district, namely Syahbandar, Penyabong and Tanjung Leman.

“Boat operators who fail to renew their licence in the past two years will have their licence revoked by the Marine Department,” he told a press conference at the Mersing IPD, here last night.

Ayob Khan said 95 companies were registered with the Mersing District Council operating about 200 boats.

He said the resumption of interstate travel was expected to increase the number of visitors using the boat service in Mersing.

“Therefore, we want to prevent any untowards incidents...tomorrow (today), personnel from the Mersing IPD, the Johor police contingent headquarters and the Marine police force will conduct an inspection to ensure that they (boat operators) have undergone the screening tests.

“Those found to have failed to take the tests would not be allowed to operate,” he added.

Last Thursday, the Sultan of Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar said he was unhappy over the dangerous handling of a tourist boat by drug intoxicated boatmen near Pulau Rawa, here.

In a Facebook post, the Sultan who personnaly witnessed the incident, expressed regret over what happened.

Following that, two men, including the skipper of the passenger boat, have been arrested by the police and urine tests conducted on the duo found that they were positive for methamphetamine.- Bernama