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The new arrangements at Patong: the diagram is confusing and not to scale

Clearance Changes Will Remain at Phuket Beaches, Says Governor

Friday, February 13, 2015
PHUKET: Changes are being introduced at all of Phuket's popular west coast beaches and it will take time for everyone to adjust, the holiday island's Governor, Nisit Jansomwong, said yesterday.

''This move represents a change in the way of life for local people, for police and for tourists,'' he said. ''Everything has to be explained properly, the right way. It is difficult to change a way of life. It will take time.''

In a presentation at the Royal Thai Navy base at Cape Panwa, on Phuket's east coast, Governor Nisit and senior Navy officers spelled out the changes beach by beach.

In the audience were about 40 members of Phuket's media and two coastal area mayors, the mayor of Patong, Chalermluk Kebsub, and the mayor of Cherng Talay, Ma-Ann Samran.

Governor Nisit said there were three phases to the change: the implementation of the new beach arrangements, adapting and reinforcing the arrangements, then enforcing the system.

''We are now in the second phase, adapting and trying new concepts where necessary,'' he said.

It appeared plain yesterday during the 70-minute presentation that both the governor and the Royal Thai Navy are prepared to devote time to ensuring that the clearances of public beaches, implemented after the military took charge of Thailand on May 22, do not regress.

Patong, Phuket's most popular beach, is the beach with the most swimmers and the most jet-skis.

There was no suggestion yesterday that jet-skis are to be removed from Phuket anytime soon, despite reports of scams and public opposition to the noisy, dangerous machines, which are banned in the neighboring provinces of Phang Nga and Krabi.

The governor said that it was the role of Phuket's Marine Office 5 to enforce regulations covering jet-skis.

A recent complaint has been made that jet-skis hired at neighboring beaches were now turning up at Surin beach, where jet-skis are banned.

The governor said that jet-skis hired at one beach could not be taken by the riders to another beach - something that Marine Office 5 would need to enforce.

Phuketwan believes operators and tourists have in the past often ridden jet-skis from Patong to Tri Trang beach and Freedom beach and may still be in the habit of doing so.

It is fairly natural in calm seas for tourists to want to ride jet-skis out of the bays in which they are hired. Just why jet-skis remain in favor remains unclear.

Phuket's neighboring provinces ban them and the machines were at one stage being phased out over seven years on the holiday island until Governor Nisit's predecessors compromised that promise.

Touts now offer rides to tourists along Patong beach and under the new zoning arrangements, the jet-ski business has a firm grip along the Patong shorefront.

The latest adaptation of the zoning gives swimmers five areas each of 150metres by 200 metres, interspersed with jet-ski areas along more than two kilometres of beachfront.

A confusing illustration that was supposed to show how the new arrangement worked appeared to be way out of scale and not based on reality.

If anything, the latest zonings corral the swimmers rather than the jet-skis. The machines have been given four areas along the beach, each of 300 metres.

Swimmers who chose to sit on the beach in jet-ski zones will be required to walk hundreds of meters to a safe zone. This is unlikely to happen.

Swimmers and jet-skis will continue to be in the water together - until either the swimmers or the jet-skis are banned completely.

The arrangements are to vary from beach to beach, with the 10 percent rule covering hired umbrellas - but without sunbeds - still applying.

Swimmers may bring their own umbrellas and place them where they please.

At Kata beach, the governor said, 100 umbrellas will be made available at 50 baht each.


Comments have been disabled for this article.



Posted by Peter on February 13, 2015 12:20


Allowing jetski's & parasailor's operating close to defenceless swimmers/kids/snorkelers is a lot worse then allowing?? motors /motorbikes/cars driving on a pedestrian area, because in the water you can not jump aside. Thailand does not allow liquor stores next to schools but JetSki's between swimmers is OK, is mildly sad weird. Better is it to call it insane. Are we gonna blame a kid for swimming in the wrong zone? Will the jetski rider timely see he is passing a line? Why the risk? Why we need incidents, accidents and funerals first. Why not work out a decent and logical strategy and plan. When the authorities start make rules with sense which obey the golden rule; Safety First? GOVERNMENT don't say later you where not aware off the danger. You have been pointed to it many times in many ways and articles. I'm sad. My kid doesn't understand why I don't take her to the beach anymore to play ans swim. I keep saying to her. "Kid I have seen to much insanity and danger on Patong Beach with inexperienced and wild Jetski riders. I see Jetski staf "claiming" their place by making nearly accidents in the hope the scare off?? unknowing tourist who swim in "their" Jetski zone. The swimmers are not aware of the zoning because the rules/zones are not clearly marked. The jetski staff can not speak anything outside Thai and give "their way" a "Warning". Dangerous and yes again insane. But all caused by wrong government regulations.
Thailand go for Safety First

Posted by phuketgreed on February 13, 2015 12:39


You do not hear of many jetski accidents at Patong. Let them be 1000's of people having fun and the locals making lots of money. What is wrong with that! Why do you think Thailand let's foreigners in, because they love us so much or for the money or to educate them?

Posted by Feisty Farang on February 13, 2015 12:40


Do I understand correctly that nobody in the meeting wanted to address the elephant in the room - the Jet Skis and Mr Phuripat was not even present ?

Posted by Herbert on February 13, 2015 13:03


At Patong it is business better than ever for ex Lords of Sunbeds - they are back exactly into areas of their Beach Land Fiefdoms, often expressing by their non-verbal communication that they are granted unlimited governance powers over those strips, it is again not 10% but 100% of the area they use for their leased umbrellas and mats from sunbeds, they again "reserve" public land of beach by putting in advance mats and unfolded umbrellas (I'm sure Master Tales are prepared in advance : toyrusts just left etc.) and they established storage of craft under the tent appr.there where they stored Magic Tools of Sunbeds.
And, yes, they charge 200THB now - which gives excellent ROI(return on investment), even if these umbrellas are seized by authorities and they will have t buy new ones every few weeks.

I do not see any change vs. past except that no deck chairs are in business, in terms who profits from public land.
And yes, swimmers are squeezed into Swimanarium narrow zones, but jetscrap benefits from prime strips of beach.

Posted by Sue on February 13, 2015 13:10


The cost of renting an Umbrella at Nai Harn is 200B...

Posted by BodysurfNaiHarn on February 13, 2015 13:29


@Feisty Farang. I hope editor allows my link;
FF. Jetski's are at first extremely polluting the water quality. Seconomy all the scams are based on damage claims this means for each case an accident. Not always but often with personal injuries. I live close to the beach and I pass and visit it almost om a daily base. I have seen a lot of incidents and accidents and far most get never covered by the papers. I can assure you tgat hospitals can give yiu shocking figures. Safety First means for me prevention is better then occurring. why we have to wear seat belts in a car? It is for me not a daily happening to have an accidents. I do believe you stay longtime here. Your logic is becoming like the logic from the average Thai and from a high official from the Marine Office. If the Farang hadn't been here we wouldn't have an accident/problem to discuss. And it are not a lot of locals having fun but a handful with deep pockets only. A small group of "investors" who get the biggest pie of the "black money" pie and a group who gets tea money to cooperate. I have even little problem with that. 3 huge comments I keep ousting. 1. It is polluting. 2. It is dangerous and annoying for innocent bystanders And no_one compensates their injuries incase of serious and long lasting. 3. If driving a bike and or riding Jetski needs valid liscence then the government should enforce that.
Thailand let's tourist in for economic and human reasons. These tourists/guests deserve a good and fair treatment. These people should not be victimised by greed (jet_ski_scammers). These tourist need at first protection from there host Which is Thailand. Then we have way more swimmers/snorkelers and beach goers then jet_ski users. Most of the space should go to the majority of users. The jet_ski area should be using small "landing_strips 25 meter width deep (300 meter) into the sea. Maximum 3 or 4 strips for Patong. They can use the strips for leaving and returning. Leave the beach-shore for the rest to the swimmers. Don't order kids where to play and where to swim. Instruct the jet-ski users. Leave the beach to swim safely.

Posted by phuketgreed on February 13, 2015 15:26


@Fiesty Farang.
Sorry but Seconomy should be secondly.
last remark if Fiesty Farang means. Party Farang then please keep enjoying your party stay here.

Posted by phuketgreed on February 13, 2015 15:33


Jet-skis will get most of the space. Puzzling but this might be legal, if the riders of all these jet-skis have the proper licence.

Posted by Sherlock on February 13, 2015 18:09


i think it's about time that the people making these decisions about the chairs on the beach started to have some consideration for older people (40+)
And realise that they cannot sit on the ground for any length of time as most would end up having sore backs. Maybe some thought should go into this. I thought Thailand cared about their elders.

Posted by Anonymous on February 18, 2015 20:48

Friday June 21, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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