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Jet-skis are registered and fully controlled, says Phuripat Theerakulpisut

Envoys Want Jet-Skis Off Phuket Beaches

Tuesday, September 16, 2014
PHUKET: If a vote was taken among Phuket's honorary consuls about the future of jet-skis, the smelly, dangerous machines would be dragged off Phuket's beaches tomorrow, along with the parasailing equipment.

As British honorary consul Martin Carpenter told Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud when the governor met the envoys yesterday: ''Unfortunately the jet-skis are still there, That is the problem.''

In a ritual that has become a regular part of honorary consuls' meetings, the Chief of Marine Office 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut maintained that all the difficulties associated with jet-skis had been overcome or would be resolved with partial insurance, zoning management, the registration of all operators and safety instructions to hirers and users.

The honorary consuls know differently. French honorary consul Claude De Crissey, the Netherlands consul Seven Smulders and Mr Carpenter weighed in, along with new German envoy, Anette Jimenez Hoechstetter, who wanted to know whether the police could intervene on the beaches.

Mr Carpenter managed to extract the information that jet-skis were registered on six beaches, and that Surin, Laem Sing and Nai Harn were all beaches where jet-skis were forbidden. Just who beachgoers should call to have action taken immediately did not become quite clear.

Mr Smulders, like departed honorary consuls Dirk Naumann and Larry Cunningham, would like to have 100 percent insurance imposed so that the problem of disputes about the cost of repairs no longer happen. According to Khun Phuripat, the present ''first-class insurance'' covers the first 50,000 baht, and that should be enough.

Mr Smulders said the same kind of options should be offered to jet-ski users as are offered to people seeking travel insurance, so that if a person wishes to be 100 percent covered, they can be.

Beach vendors have been removed because all beaches are public and free of commercialism, and the vendors and the consuls are rightly questioning why the jet-skis and the parasailers are still there.

''I think you'll find more tourists visiting Phuket if you took away the jet-skis,'' Mr Carpenter said.

Mr De Crissey added: ''Many times i have had to intervene in jet-ski fights. When you buy a car for 500,000 baht you rent it for 1000 baht a day. When you buy a 500,000 baht jet-ski, you rent it for 1200 baht several times a day. The operators can clearly afford to find some way of covering insurance.''

On the issue of whether the sunbeds would be returning at some point, Governor Maitree made it plain that the National Council for Peace and Order had cleared the beaches and a return to commercial activities was not planned.

Germanys Ms Jimenez Hoechstetter made the point that many beaches remained dangerous because of glass and rubble from the shorefront demolitions. There did not seem to be a policy to properly clear the sand of dangerous material.

She and Swiss envoy Andrea Kotas Tammathin asked a series of questions about excessive fares in taxis, which were mostly left hanging. While the honorary consuls seemed happy with the changes so far, the high cost of meter and non-meter taxis on Phuket clearly remains an unresolved issue.

The governor provided an update on Phuket's roads projects and the water taxi plan for a ferry between Phuket International Airport and Patong, which lives on despite doubts about its viability during the low season.

Khun Phuripat was praised for the introduction of a Vessel Trafficking and Management System, which is aimed at recording the movements of all vessels of a certain size along the Anadaman coast.

Mr Carpenter: ''For safety reasons you are monitoring every craft? Fantastic.''

Plans for any tsunami memorial commemorations on Phuket on December 26, the tenth anniversary, remain unclear.

The Asian Beach Games, scheduled for a week in November, had already brought 2800 resort bookings, Governor Maitree said.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Seems like many things remained unclear but it's great the talks have been resumed.

Posted by Jakub P. on September 16, 2014 15:44

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Ed with your wealth of knowledge and contacts in Phuket is there any 'real' insurance available to them given certain licences they must hold and possibly don't
Serious question..

Posted by Sharp on September 16, 2014 15:50

Editor Comment:

I think that without insurance, there would be no option but to dispose of them. A jet-ski co-op, with all jet-ski owners paying for what's not covered by insurance, and the 16,000 baht that is so regularly claimed for time out of the water, makes sense to me. But sometimes, the riders are at fault. Recklessness is not insurable.

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Many people claims that under Thai law, jet-skis may only be operated by people holding a valid Thai sea captain's or a similar licence.

If this is true, who are responsible for checking these licenses?

Posted by Sherlock on September 16, 2014 16:25

Editor Comment:

That would be Marine Office 5, Sherlock.

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'Jet-skis are registered and fully controlled'
Mr. Phuriphat, isn't it illegal to operate Jet Skies without a boat-captain license?
Why authorities protect illegal businesses?

Posted by Mr K on September 16, 2014 16:35

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Many countries have enforced strict measures to control Jet skies even in Pattaya they have been segregated. I see many times people are sent out on them in dangerous conditions high waves etc Why are they still operating in Phuket They are dangerous in the hands of inexperienced rides.

Posted by Dobby on September 16, 2014 17:31

Editor Comment:

If the jet-skis survive, they will be zoned. At one time we suggested pontoons offshore.

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A few days ago I watched as the "beachboys" tried to get money from a young Chinese couple. They were strong and the beachboys gave up. Then one of them saw me and walked over to me, I'm a retired expat, and asked me if I'd like to buy some "weed". At first I didn't get it but he kept pointing to the picture of the marijuana on his pitch board, along with the jet skis and para sailing. I was incredulous they were so brazen!!!

Posted by hotgem on September 16, 2014 18:28

Editor Comment:

Jet-ski operators selling drugs? Surely not. That's illegal.

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Wouldn't it be just great if large commercial vehicles and even delivery vans on the Island had tracking devices and a device that would give readings to the speed that these vehicles travel at each day, the details of the driver and the hours for each driver worked etc.

Posted by irishkev on September 16, 2014 18:51

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The jet-skis are a scourge and I couldn't support the Consuls more in keeping up the pressure to rid the island of them. They are loud, dangerous, douchebag magnets that even cause traffic jams on land (when their operators trailer them home). I can't think of a single benefit they have ever brought to the island. Strike when the iron is hot.

Posted by Phuketsub on September 16, 2014 22:38

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Nothing will happen to the Jetski's, because now they have OFFICIAL protection from the powers that be.

Posted by Tbs on September 16, 2014 23:23

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I read in another story that Governor Maitree said "Zoning" for the very poor (affected) beach vendors will be available to do buisness. Is this no longer happening?

Posted by Asquith on September 17, 2014 10:39

Editor Comment:

A group of beach vendors are having their wealth examined but a return to the sunbeds and umbrellas is unlikely. Even a small number on the beaches would lead over time to pressure for more to return. The days when conflicts led to compromises are over. Compromises never work.

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As might be expected in August also sees a decline in tourist arrivals of 11.85 percent . And you will see the beginning of the high season. No umbrellas and sunbeds no tourists!

Posted by augusto on September 17, 2014 11:23

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"On the issue of whether the sunbeds would be returning at some point, Governor Maitree made it plain that the National Council for Peace and Order had cleared the beaches and a return to commercial activities was not planned."
If this statement is intended to cover all of Thailand's beaches not just Phuket's why does someone just back from Hua Hin report that there are plenty of deck chairs/sunbeds, also food and drink available on the beach but on Wednesdays they are not allowed to set up on the beach thus giving the beach a day to recover. The beach bar/food stalls have to be removed at the end of each day? One law for Hua Hin, another for Phuket/rest of Thailand?

Posted by Alan on September 17, 2014 13:33

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I hope that the sunbeds and umbrellas come back for the high season !!! Because my friends and me, we can not be sitting a full day in the sand and the sun. We stay all for meany months, and that since meany years, we need a litlle confort. If not...we don't stay no more in Patong, Phuket !!!

Posted by Christine on September 18, 2014 06:19

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Does the word authority translate into Thai ? It must not, because as usual no one seems to have any concerning this problem !

Posted by zig on September 18, 2014 09:46

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"Mr Carpenter managed to extract the information that jet-skis were registered on six beaches, and that Surin, Laem Sing and Nai Harn were all beaches where jet-skis were forbidden." If this is the case , jetskis have been breaking the law on Surin for years! They were there today. If we regular beachgoers have to put up with their noise and smoke even though they are forbidden , can they be the ones 'roped off' and put at one end of the beach PLEASE. I was almost hit by them 'drag racing' 3 abreast from a standing start in front of the lifesaver post last high season and I was swimming along the ropes INSIDE the allocated swimming area!
Without the action we have been promised for years , there is going to be a death , then lets see what happens to tourism then. Parking a jetski on a beach IS using the publics land for commercial purposes!

Posted by Chob on September 18, 2014 21:43

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Why am I not surprised that you forgot to write about what they said about the sunbeds?

Posted by Peter on September 19, 2014 13:17

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Is Khun Phuripat the same who denied the accident between a swimmer and a speedboat in Kata Beach? It was a while ago, but anyway...

Posted by BeerChang on September 21, 2014 09:21

Editor Comment:

It was a while back, yes. The swimmer was lucky that he was able to dive and the propeller just slashed his leg. Such incidents were ''natural,'' we were told, and the speedboat driver was not even reprimanded. The swimmer recovered after a hospital stay.

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They also talked about sunbeds:

1. Beach Encroachment
General overview of beach clean up given.
There will be continued campaigns to clean up the beaches and plant trees.
The local municipalities have been given respective orders by the military.

QUESTION ASKED: Will umbrella/beach chair suppliers etc be allowed back on the beach in a controlled manner in order to cater to/serve tourists who demand their services.

ANSWER: At the moment the Governor and municipalities have to follow the law which states, that no vendors of any kind are allowed on the beach.

However there is discussion to ask the HOTELS THAT ARE LOCATED NEAR THE BEACHES TO PROVIDE RESPECTIVE SERVICES TO THEIR GUESTS.

QUESTION: What about those remote beach areas where no hotels are in the vicinity that can be asked to assist.

ANSWER: Currently there is no solution. However A PLAN TO BALANCE SUPPLY AND DEMAND IS IN PROCESS and will hopefully be implemented before the beginning of the busy season (Mid November).

Currently 1460 vendors have registered with the municipalities. If, how, when and where they will be deployed is still open.

Posted by Peter on September 22, 2014 01:51

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Thank you Peter.
This editor is against the sunbeds so he will purposely NOT write about them and ALL stories will be biased towards sunbeds. This isn???t fair.. Editor before you tell me if I don't like your article writing/website etc then I should leave (OR any other offensive remarks) please note that this is site is centred around tourist news. You should always mention/write about things, even if YOU don't agree with them. Shame on you.

Posted by Asquith on September 22, 2014 11:59

Editor Comment:

Perhaps your reading ability is defective, Asquith. Here's what we wrote about sunbeds in this article:

''On the issue of whether the sunbeds would be returning at some point, Governor Maitree made it plain that the National Council for Peace and Order had cleared the beaches and a return to commercial activities was not planned.''

I am sure there are part-time courses to correct this problem.

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Perhaps your reading ability is defective, editor. Here's what is said in the meeting (not what you forgot to write) about sunbeds:

However there is discussion to ask the HOTELS THAT ARE LOCATED NEAR THE BEACHES TO PROVIDE RESPECTIVE SERVICES TO THEIR GUESTS.

ANSWER: Currently there is no solution. However A PLAN TO BALANCE SUPPLY AND DEMAND IS IN PROCESS and will hopefully be implemented before the beginning of the busy season (Mid November).

Posted by Peter on September 22, 2014 12:34

Editor Comment:

I wasn't at the meeting for that part of the discussion, Peter, but as you can see, there has been no plan to change anything. Any order to ''meet supply and demand'' would have to come from the NCPO. There is no indication that will happen.

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My point is that you seem only to skim over anything to do with sunbeds and only mention anything that goes against them. Your readers have proven your poor journalistic tact and you have obviously proven to everyone that your writing style is simply biased.

I just read article "Phuket Vendors Write to HM The King to Seek Jobs Back on Patong Beach" and took note of what was written at the end "Phuketwan has suggested that the Royal Thai Navy may have to post officers to the beaches to inform tourists of the changes and to keep vendors from breaking the new rules." Perhaps your fight against sunbeds should turn towards the activities that POLLUTE the beaches eg Jet skis and parasailing? Boats in water drop chemicals, chemicals kill eco systems that are in the water. Yes, the sunbeds where operated by Mafia however what is so wrong with the government coming up with a system for special ???sunbed????? zones that are managed legally?

I think you enjoy squabbling with your readers too much ??? I can???t take you as a serious journo anymore.

Posted by Asquith on September 23, 2014 10:02

Editor Comment:

We've covered and covered the sunbeds issue with each development more than adequately reported. If there's no development, there's no story. Phuketwan takes no sides in reporting, but we are able to tell right from wrong. The commercial use of the beaches, with money going into private pockets, was clearly wrong.

We are not self-interested. On the other hand, you are clearly only concerned about yourself. There is no place for sunbeds in a Phuket where people will be coming in future to see the natural beauty of the region's beaches. The lotus-eating layabouts will move on. We give opinions expressed by self-interested anonymous readers all the attention they deserve.

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How many tourists are on pw? Very few, almost only expats.

Editors concern is the natural beauty of Phuket. Why is he living on Phuket? Where his house stands can be no natural beauty. Where he goes for shopping can be no natural beauty. Where he drives his car(s)(and morbike(s)) can be no natural beauty. Where he goes for dining can be no natural beauty. etc, etc, etc

But he can go for a walk on the beach, there is natural beauty because the sunbeds have gone.

Who is self-interested here?

Posted by Peter on September 23, 2014 15:31

Editor Comment:

We'll leave the decisions to the people in control, the Thai authorities. But what the authorities have told us is that they want Phuket and the surrounding provinces to have a future as an ecotourist destination. That seems reasonable to us, and it dovetails with keeping the balance between nature and development. We work seven days a week so you're right, the last time I visited a beach for a swim, and not for work, was more than two years ago. Once all the problems of Phuket have been resolved, I will go for another swim. Your understanding of Phuket and what it needs seems to be built entirely on your opinion, Peter, and your own self-interest. On the other hand, PW's aim is to make Phuket and Thailand a better place for everyone, residents and visitors, you included. You might have to listen to some of the hundreds of Thais,expats and tourists we've talked to over the years to get the message, though. Your present argument lacks a little logic, to put it mildly.

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Editor, you are right. Bangla Road is very ecotourist. Massage parlours are very ecotourist. Stupid that I didn't notice that before.

You might have to listen to some of the tourists (now and in high season) instead of the Thai and expats who agree with you to get the message, though. Your present opinion lacks a little logic, to put it mildly.

Posted by Peter on September 23, 2014 22:28

Editor Comment:

Some of the tourists who visit Bangla also go diving and snorkelling, Peter. They enjoy what the Andaman has to offer. You seem to not wander very far. Most people travel. Try to get out more. Look around you.

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Apparently you do not know that it is not wise to combine drinking a lot of alcohol with diving.

I????m not sure whether you mean the girls or the sea when you talk about Andaman.

According to Wikipedia ecotourism is:
Ecotourism is a form of tourism involving visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial (mass) tourism. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecotourism)

Is Phuket relatively undisturbed? 30 or more years ago, yes but now? with 100.000 tourists every night in Patong you cannot talk about undisturbed. Phuket is a destination for masstourism. TAT????s target for fiscal 2014 was fourteen million (14.000.000) tourist arrivals! Perhaps it will only be 12.000.000.

If you want ecotourism, close the airport. If you want 12 or even 14.000.000 tourists a year let them relax in the way they want, Bangla Road, sunbeds, massage parlours, diving, parasailing, etc, etc. Up to them.

Posted by Peter on September 24, 2014 14:30

Editor Comment:

According to airport figures, Phuket had a little over three million overseas visitors last year. Phang Nga Bay remains a delight, along with corners of Phuket and virtually all of Krabi and Phang Nga. Those who advocate mass tourism are only interested in the money, not Phuket's future. Bangla is a very small part of what's on offer in the Andaman.

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Phang Nga Bay remains a delight?

When was the last time you visited James Bond Island?

Like it or not, Phuket was already, is, and will be a mass tourism destination.

The people in China, Russia and India will become richer and richer. When they become richer a lot of them want to travel. There is mass tourism gem where they can go to, Phuket. Only problem are the farang who live there. They want to keep the gem for themselves.

Posted by Peter on September 24, 2014 16:54

Editor Comment:

James Bond Island? Why would I go there, Peter? Never been, never will . . . if you think James Bond Island is all there is in Phang Nga Bay, you probably won't be told where to go by people who know.

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Bangla Road is a small part/mass tourism.

James Bond Island is a small part/mass tourism.

Sunbeds are not a small part? They are mass tourism and the beaches are only a small part of the island.

Many tourists vist Bangla Road (up to them).

Most tourists go to James Bond Island if they visit Phang Nga Bay (up to them).

Most tourists who visit the beach want sunbeds and umnbrellas (up to them).

Saying that Phuket in the future will be an ecotourism destination is like saying that all priests in the future will be regular visitors of a brothel.

Posted by Peter on September 24, 2014 19:28

Editor Comment:

Well Peter, that sounds like a quote that should be attributed to you because nobody else would want to own up to it. You've clearly got no connection to anything except your own wallet. Your opinions have so far proven to be not really worth publishing so from now on, we won't.

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Peter wrote:

"Bangla Road is a small part/mass tourism.

James Bond Island is a small part/mass tourism.

Sunbeds are not a small part? They are mass tourism and the beaches are only a small part of the island.

Many tourists vist Bangla Road (up to them).

Most tourists go to James Bond Island if they visit Phang Nga Bay (up to them).

Most tourists who visit the beach want sunbeds and umnbrellas (up to them).

Saying that Phuket in the future will be an ecotourism destination is like saying that all priests in the future will be regular visitors of a brothel."

Sir Morison, please hire this verbal trickster and acrobat on the spot as a reporter, he's a true "Gonzo"!

Posted by Wilai on September 25, 2014 00:05


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