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A jet-ski ''negotiation'' underway on Patong beach several years ago

Jet-Skis Win New Zone Off Phuket Despite Beach Disputes

Thursday, March 1, 2012
PHUKET: A new zone where jet-skis can operate has been created at Naka Island, off Phuket, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, told a key tourism meeting yesterday.

This makes seven jet-ski zones on popular beaches on and around Phuket at a time when honorary consuls and tourism industry leaders are questioning whether jet-skis should be allowed on Phuket.

The revelation of the new zone came at a meeting yesterday at Provincial Hall in Phuket City with tourism industry leaders, police and administrators looking in detail at rip-offs, transport and other issues seen as harming tourism.

Khun Phuripat had neglected to mention the new zone for jet-skis when questioned at a meeting earlier in the week about his plans to deal with illegal jet-skis now operating at Phuket's Surn and Laem Sing beaches.

He told the meeting yesterday: ''I am happy with what I am doing. I think I am quite successful in controlling the numbers of the jet-skis.''

Khun Phuripat told the gathering that there were now 286 jet-skis on Phuket, up from the 219 listed when Phuket's Governor Udomsak gave them seven years to be phased out eight years ago.

He said that of those jet-skis, 67 remained illegal but that he was confident he could have all the jet-skis in the system by extending the time limit to July, 2013.

Creation of the Naka Zone involved allowing 15 jet-skis to operate there, he said.

Earlier in the week, honorary consuls Larry Cunningham (Australia) and Martin Carpenter (Britain) urged proper controls of jet-skis. Mr Cunningham said that the thuggery and intimidation continued on Phuket's beaches, especially at Patong.

Thai Hotels Association representative Dhumikit Rakteanang said it was time to ask Phuket's beach businesses and and hotel managers whether Phuket needed jet-skis.

''Let's ask everybody how many jet-skis Phuket should have,'' he said. ''Everybody is affected by the damage these jet-skis do to Phuket's reputation, yet only a few people have a say in their future.

''Many people don't want them. Most people come to Phuket for peace and quiet. Only a small number of tourists use the jet-skis.''

Tritrang was another beach where jet-skis were not zoned, yet they were there, he said.

Khun Phuripat said that the maximum payout under jet-ski insurance was 200,000 baht but Colonel Panya Jansomwong, Deputy Superintendent at Kathu Police Station, which oversees Patong, said it was actually 50,000 baht.

''The problem is they (the jet-ski operators) mediate themselves on the beaches,'' Colonel Paya said. ''There have been 14 cases that have been taken to police to mediate so far this year,'' he said.

The key issue was often not whether there was insurance. Problems arose when jet-ski operators demanded extra cash for the time the jet-skis would be out of the water, often amounting to 3000 baht a day or more, he said.

Khun Phuripat said that three jet-skis registered in another province that had been operating at Bang Tao had been refused registration on Phuket.

When the well-attended meeting was asked by the Chairman of the Standing Committee on Tourism in the Senate, Tunyaratt Achariyachai, who would take responsibility for future issues involving jet-skis, Khun Phuripat raised his hand.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Jet ski control delayed (July 2013) is jet ski control denied

Posted by Anonymous on March 1, 2012 10:47


It seems rather strange that whilst the 'silent majority' are clamouring to ban or severely restrict jet-ski operation in Phuket, some officials seem to be positively assisting their expansion.


Posted by Simon Luttrell on March 1, 2012 11:33


"Khun Phuripat said that three jet-skis registered in another province that had been operating at Bang Tao had been refused registration on Phuket. "

Would these be the jetskis that were backed by a farang with a Thai frontman / partner ??

Posted by Livinlos on March 1, 2012 12:17


Providing a 'new zone' where 'illegal' jet skis can operate without solving the problems at 'old zones' where 'illegal jet skis' operate shows clearly how much our authorities really care about comments from tourists, expats honorary consuls and even the local population! They don't care at all!

Posted by Mr. K on March 1, 2012 12:59


Funny, whilst this meeting was going on all the jet skis disappeared from Surin beach for the day. You know, that privately owned beach on the West coast.

Posted by logbags on March 1, 2012 14:28


J-O-K-E! Ask virtually any expat & they want them abolished, banned, removed. They are a nuisance, noisy, source of much conflict. They must have a very powerful lobby at the highest levels of authority to survive as they do, despite many reports that they were to be controlled, dimished, or removed completely.

Posted by Logic on March 1, 2012 17:13


We can complain all we want, but those jetskis continue to operate because there is an eager market for them. Have a look at who is renting them out at the tourist beaches: Always foreigners. If the jetskis are to be removed, it must start with visitors behaving responsibly and not renting them. The problem in large part is created by thoughtless, ignorant tourists who don't care what they are doing. This is one of the reasons why I shed no tears when they are ripped off or are injured. Perhaps if the situation was even worse, tourists might get the message and stop renting them. In the case of the Australian tourists that seem to be a prime target for the extortion scams on Patong beach, they are well aware of the risks and make the decision to rent the jetskis, despite all the warnings on the Australian government travel advisory website and in the Australian media. No one ever asks these people that complain of being ripped off, why did you rent one, even though the problems are well known and very public.

Posted by Ryan on March 1, 2012 20:55


A huge majority of tourists want to ban jet-ski from the beaches.
This decision shows how officials do not care about tourists and are not giving a damn for consuls.

Posted by Anonymous on March 2, 2012 10:08


Well stated Ryan. I might add that there is a shift in the balance of tourists who are coming to Phuket, not just by nationality, but by mindset.

By nationality, it is an influx of Russians & various Asian nationalities. They clearly view & value life differently than west Europeans. By mindset, cheap package tourists who are simply not getting the message, or who rebel against authority telling them what to do on vacation.

Posted by Logic on March 2, 2012 14:29

Monday May 20, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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