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A jet-ski on Patong beach at sunset: disputes still occur, says group's chief

Patong Needs Action Team: Jet-Ski Chief

Monday, October 1, 2012
PHUKET: The President of the Phuket Provincial Jet-Ski Association said today that he plans to write letters to the Phuket complaints office and to the Justice Ministry to seek a solution to Phuket's continuing jet-ski scams.

Anusorn Sale said the compulsory insurance system was a failure. ''It doesn't work,'' he told Phuketwan this afternoon.

His comments came after the Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, told Acting Phuket Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin earlier in the day that the insurance scheme for jet-skis was a success.

''In two years, I have never heard a single complaint,'' Khun Phuripat told the meeting at Provincial Hall in Phuket City.

Khun Phuripat's office is on the east coast of Phuket while all the jet-skis on Phuket operate from the well-known tourist beaches along Phuket's west coast.

Khun Anusorn, who operates from Bang Tao beach, said today that he intended to write to the Damrungtam Office - the Phuket complaints department - and the Ministry of Justice.

''We need a solution to the problems that continue at Patong beach,'' he said. ''What's needed is a special team who can investigate every disturbance as it happens.

''The problem is that too much money is being siphoned off to local council officials. There is no real desire to solve this problem.''

He said that jet-ski operators were continuing to demand 100,000 baht or 200,000 baht when there were crashes - even though insurance covered nowhere near that figure.

''I am aware of 219 jet-skis on Phuket,'' he said. ''I don't know where this figure of 286 jet-skis comes from.''

He said that registered jet-skis were also being sold on, creating difficulties for registration.

The existing insurance scheme only covered a small amount of damage and was inadequate when jet-ski operators made large claims.

''That's why it's in the interests of tourists to have an action team ready to intervene immediately,'' he said.

[Phuketwan has suggested that the Royal Thai Navy, which already has a vested interest in marine affairs, should be involved in patrolling and policing Patong beach.]

''We still have rip-offs and corruption, no matter what others say,'' Khun Anusorn said.

Earlier, Khun Phuripat told a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City that the Marine 5 office had ''100 percent control'' of jet-ski numbers on Phuket.

There were 38 jet-skis at Kata-Karon, 170 at Patong, 26 at Kamala, 40 at Bang Tao, and 12 at Naka island, he said.

Local councils needed to act to make sure that jet-skis had defined areas marked by buoys at Phuket's beaches, he said.

He hopes that Phuket jet-ski operators, having signed up for low-cost, low-payout insurance, will now voluntarily decide to sign on for a premium level policy that pays out more for crashes, he said.

He added that Thai law has now been changed so that jet-skis can be operated as a business, rather than purely for an individual's pleasure.

''Russian tourists are coming in greater numbers and they really enjoy jet-skis,'' he said.

''We hope to have insurance contracts available in English, Thai and Russian soon,'' he said.

While he has been made aware of complaints from tourists via Phuket's honorary consuls, Khun Phuripat said: ''I've never had a single complaint about jet-skis in two years. Not a single one.''

He said he had explained fully to Phuket's honorary consuls at last month's regular meeting that the jet-ski issue was under control.

Expat volunteers who work with police in Patong say they usually hear of at least two disputes over jet-skis on average every week, with more expected once the weather improves.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


The expat volunteers should start forwarding all these complaints to Khun Phuripat from now on and see if he still refutes these claims.

Posted by richie on October 1, 2012 18:22


This bloke must have his head in the sand. Get rid of them once and for all. People are getting ripped off every day but same old same old. These jet ski operators (bandits) are giving Phuket a bad name.

Posted by chaseone on October 2, 2012 07:40

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