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Phuket's Jet-Ski Operators Told: Fix Your Scams and Rip-Offs or It's Game Over, Guys

Phuket's Jet-Ski Operators Told: Fix Your Scams and Rip-Offs or It's Game Over, Guys

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
PHUKET: Jet-ski operators on Phuket were warned today to clean up their act once and for all or be removed from the island for good.

The warning - perhaps the sternest yet - came from Phuket Vice Governor Somkiet Sangkaosutthirak as the latest chapter in the saga of Phuket's tourist scams and rip-offs developed a fresh twist.

Someone posing as the owner of a yacht hit by a jet-ski had come forward to claim 400,000 baht in compensation, a meeting was told today.

However, the yacht's real owner - a Frenchman - had adequate insurance and did not need extra compensation, the meeting was told.

Vice Governor Somkiet ordered Kathu Council, which oversees Patong beach, to track down the would-be fraudster and make sure he was punished.

More importantly, Vice Governor Somkiet said: ''The Government fears these continuing conflicts are damaging Thailand's good reputation.

''Unless the jet-ski operators can bring a halt to these issues, we will have to stop the use of jet-skis on Phuket.''

Vice Governor Somkiet ordered the representative from Phuket's Marine Office 5 - the Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, was not at the meeting - to organise a gathering of all jet-ski operators on Phuket.

They will have to consider a more comprehensive insurance scheme and an improved attitude, or alternative careers.

Today's meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City was called to resolve issues raised last week by Chinese Consul Qin Jian.

In an email to tourism and consumer officials on Phuket, the China consul detailed the circumstances involving two jet-ski incidents where operators demanded large sums from holidaying Chinese citizens.

One case, where the initial demand was 90,000 baht, was settled for 45,000 baht.

The other case involving a crash with a yacht, where the jet-ski operator at one stage demanded 250,000 baht, was eventually settled for 105, 000 baht.

An insurance scheme designed to solve disputes offers compensation to 50,000 baht.

A regular source of friction has been the demand by jet-ski operators for larger sums in compensation, and extra money for the time the jet-ski is out of the water, being repaired.

Phuket's honorary consuls have suggested that rates for the insurance scheme should be lifted to cover both the time the jet-ski is out of the water, and all damage, with no financial limit.

The honorary consuls have also suggested that the simplest way of covering the extra insurance cost is to increase the hiring fee.

Phuket's Foreign Ministry representative, Sinporn Tantipanyatep, said that many other nations apart from China continued to complain about the actions of the jet-ski operators.

The jet-ski operators use abusive language and threats, according to the Chinese consul, to attempt to extort as much money from the tourists on Patong beach and to prevent the tourist from going to the local police station for mediation.

Even with police ''mediators'' involved, there have been cases where the officers clearly side with the jet-ski operators.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Do not just talk. Just stop them for two weeks. Then let them continue on probation.

Posted by Lena on March 20, 2013 22:00


Why am I thinking that this is just another empty threat that will never be carried out?

Posted by Same-old-story on March 20, 2013 22:50


It will be the longest 'game over' in history. Every time such a statement is made, it is quickly diluted then forgotten.

Q: How many Vice Governors are there? They seem to take turns at promising change, then backing down as per the airport bus saga.

Posted by Logic on March 20, 2013 23:32

Editor Comment:

There are three vice governors.


Thumbs up to mr. Vice Governor Somkiet!
Get rid of these people, the vast majority of Thai people are honnest, even most of the jet ski operators are.
A documentary shown on TV recently, covering tourists in Thailand who had trouble with these gangsters probably scared off lots of people to visit Patong beach... Not in anyones' interest on Phuket.

Posted by Swede from Malmo on March 21, 2013 00:18


get rid of them all. the beaches would be a far nicer place for all to enjoy. Quietly

Posted by john on March 21, 2013 01:25


Nice headline and very nice article...but.....and there is always a "but"......I just refuse to believe that anything will change

Posted by sky on March 21, 2013 03:57


If the decision was ever made to stop jet -skis in Phuket it could never be enforced.

Posted by Rod on March 21, 2013 07:46


Oh look a flying pig

Posted by mango man on March 21, 2013 07:56



A decision WAS made to stop all jet-skis on Phuket. They were all given seven years to find other ways of making a living. After seven years were up, the original decision was conveniently forgotten.

Posted by Sir Burr on March 21, 2013 08:35


So when a jetski operator demands cash, and also claims on his policy.. thats fine and dandy.. But if a yacht owner or nominee claims compensation while also having insurance then its time to 'tack down the fraudster' ??

Posted by LivinLOS on March 21, 2013 10:40

Editor Comment:

The yacht's real owner and the would-be fraudster are two different people, LivinLOS.


Another problem occurs each afternoon and evening when all the Kata and Karon jet ski's and parasailing/waterskiing speed boats are pulled from the water in and around swimming and sun bathing tourists and their children in what can only be described as a circus. Speeding Suzuki Carribeans emblazoned with "Beach Boy", ATV's, and saamlors race up and down the beach towing the massive boats or long chains of trailered jet skis just meters from people. Almost daily I see children being snatched up by terrified parents as these guys race around the sand. I often see people diving out of the way as the vehicles race to get across the deep sand. Everyone remembers the recent case where one of them ran over a tourists belongings then through an anchor at the tourist. Then they cause a huge traffic jam as they lumber through the streets of Kata on a variety of non-street legal vehicles, including farm tractors. I invite Phuketwan to the north end of Kata beach any evening to witness this spectacle of machinery, flesh, and fear.

Posted by NomadJoe on March 21, 2013 14:53


It's just the same as the taxi fiasco,One more month to sort yourselves out or we may do something about it.
Oh go on then just one more year to sort yourself out and we may think about doing something about it.

Posted by richie on March 21, 2013 18:41


@Nomad Joe. Totally agree with you. Furthermore, doe these "Beach boys" have proper insurance and/or driving licenses to drive these "Road Trains" on a public road. Especially concerning the pulled weight versus the weight of the pulling vehicle. I don't know the law and rules in Thailand, in europe you need a special driving license for a car with a heavy trailer. And of course there are rules for every car how much you can pull. For example: my Volvo V70 T5 is not allowed to pull more than 1800 kg. No matter what license one has. Editor, please tell the rest of us.

Posted by Swede from Malmo on March 21, 2013 21:57


I thought it was illegal for vehicles to drive on the beach, a fine of THB2000?

Posted by pw on March 22, 2013 10:36


PHUKET has too many scams and scamers - I have given up on the place - as have many others.
After 3 long holidays there - My family and I decided - not going back!
- Taxis are conmen gangs - who damage cars and drive people off the road
- The jet ski rip off is accepted by all

Thailand has too many other great places without the agro that seems to so common in PHUKET and south / southern

I hope the taxis guys goes broke and go back to growing rubber trees...

and I am sure I tell others about the sham that is PHUKET...

One day the place might wake up and clean up its act...When the Chinese stop arriving due to these issues...

Posted by KIWI on March 26, 2013 12:48

Wednesday October 27, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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