CAIRO: The Ministry of Transportation has implemented an internal set of rules that reduces the maximum number of travelers on board any maritime transportation from 2,750 to 1,200 passengers, according to Hala Fawzy, the ministry s media consultant.
Speaking on behalf of Minister of Transportation Mohamed Mansour , Fawzy told Daily News Egypt that the ministry is implementing the International Maritime Organization s regulations that state that the number of passengers per ferry should not exceed 1,200.
We are also not allowing any passenger to sit on the deck of the ferry, which is also in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s regulations, Fawzy said.
The new rules, she said, are meant to enhance the safety and security of maritime transportation, especially after the tragic event of the Al-Salam 98 ferry that sank in the Red Sea in February 2006, killing more than 1,000 passengers.
The ministry has also initiated a special safety and monitoring committee whose mission is to double-check on the security and safety systems after the Egyptian Maritime Safety Authority, Fawzy said.
Coinciding with the umrah (lesser pilgrimage) season, the new rule has led to sky-rocketing airfares to Saudi Arabia, where thousands of Egyptians go during the holy month of Ramadan.