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Cyprus

Legislation to change in wake of deadly speedboat crash

File photo

In the wake of the deadly Paphos speedboat accident which cost a woman her life this week, chief boat inspector at the Ministry of Communication and Works Kyriacos Kofteros said there is a need to find ways to improve the safety of speed boats, and that the Department of Merchant Shipping is preparing to amend legislation for all vessels less than 24 metres long.

Speedboats are like rental cars, Kofteros said, since the operator is not employed by the company who owns the boat.

“The department of merchant shipping cannot know who handles the ship, unless they accidentally find out or if the port police find the operator,” he said.

Regarding the Blue Lagoon area where the latest accident happened, the inspector said that there are no buoys in the area that divide the swimming section of the sea from the part, 100 metres from the beach, where boats are allowed.

Investigations into the accident are continuing and it is important to find out who was steering the boat. One of the injured people, a woman in hospital in Paphos, will be asked later on to supply this information.

On Friday, the speedboat is expected to be examined to see if there was a mechanical failure, Kofteros said.

The speedboat crashed into rocks off Latchi on Monday night, killing one Chinese woman and critically injuring three others.

Aboard the boat were the woman, 32, along with a Chinese couple and their two children, who were in Cyprus on holiday, and the boat’s operator.

Damage to the boat, which was found on Tuesday seven nautical miles from Latchi port, suggests it had been traveling at excessive speed too close to the shore, according to investigators.

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