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Tourist Ferry Overloaded: Skipper and Boss Protest That They are the Victims

Wednesday, January 4, 2012
PHUKET: A company caught overloading a ferry with tourists in Satun has staged a public protest and demanded compensation from the local Marine Office officers who apprehended them.

General Manager of the accused overloaders, Taiwoot Choosakul, said that the prolonged arrest of the Koh Lipe ferry with 82 people on a vessel registered to hold 65 meant that several expat passengers missed flights on Tuesday.

As a result the Koh Lipe Ferry and Speedboat Company had to pay for other flights and the passengers' extra accommodation, Khun Taiwoot said.

He led a protest of 50 people to the Marine Office 5 at mainland Pak Bara Pier yesterday, demanding 50,000 baht in compensation, and the immediate removal of the regional head of Marine Office 5, Wichai Kamwong.

Satun is a less developed province to the south of Phuket.

Khun Wichai was on Phuket at New Year to check passenger numbers and safety provisions on the large ferries that ply between Phuket, Phi Phi, Lanta, mainland Krabi and other island destinations. Phuket passed the safety test.

Khun Wichai told Phuketwan today: ''We checked this vessel soon after it left Koh Lipe. If the boat had turned back quickly, the six expats on board would have been able to catch another ferry without missing their flight from Had Yai to Bangkok.

''Instead the captain, Sittipong Yeelanug, tried to tough it out and made many phone calls to try to extract himself from the grip of our enforcement officers. My staff had no choice except to make this arrest.

''The safety of tourists and residents depend on the laws being upheld. These people pose a danger to everyone as they have been caught doing this more than once.''

Khun Wichai said that today he would be going to Satun police and seeking further action against Captain Sittipong and his boss.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


So, if I understand correctly, this vessel left port around 25% overloaded and was apprehended. The operating company is now demanding compensation from the authority which caught them breaking the law and outting passengers' lives at risk. Unbelievable!

Is it greed?....ignorance?....loss of face?......or what?

Posted by Andy on January 4, 2012 10:26


Many dive boats with over 60 divers are departing each day from Chalong Pier which is unsafe for diving safety as in case of dive accident all that day dive boats do not have tender RIB dinghy to help in case of rescue.
There are no regulations in Thailand about the limit of number of divers aboard a dive boat; instead Harbor Department looks divers as passengers but forget that divers should be much more less per boat.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on January 4, 2012 10:52


Well done to the guy who arrested them. But its also sad to see the "mentality" of how the guy broke the law storms into the office demanding the resignation of the head. It seems to be built into many people, even though they broke the law.

Posted by Tbs on January 4, 2012 11:55


Refreshing to read news of laws actually both being enforced and punishment being meted out.

The arrogance of some people in their belief they can break the law with impunity is nothing short of amazing.

Talking about that, I was again hassled and threatened by tuk-tuk drivers last night in Kata. It seems they have now taken over the stretch of parking space along the road leading from the Taina road 4 way junction to Kata beach.

I pleaded to them as politely as I could but they just told me to shut the f*** up, move the car or face the music.

The arrogance and boldness of these tuk-tuk drivers is totally out of control and I don't see anyone in power doing anything about it.

Problem is, neither do they and it only gets worse.

Posted by Steve C. on January 4, 2012 15:30


"Phuket passed the safety test." What?? I was on a speedboat from Chalong to Phi Phi in Sept that had:no ship to shore radio, no flares and not enough life jackets for all of the passengers. A few weeks later a speedboat ran out of fuel and the boat bobbed up and down in rough seas until another vessel happened to see them and rescued the passengers. The Thai staff were hiding about the canvas to avoid the complaints of the tourist. So now Phuket has passed the safety inspection. Really?

Posted by Mike on January 4, 2012 21:52


Three cheers for the marine police doing there job effectively without fear or favor protecting the public from these reckless companies and masters of vessels whom disregard lives for a few more baht.

Posted by Anonymous on January 5, 2012 00:22


You really can't make stuff like this up. Well done Marine 5 for doing a great job in this case.

Posted by Scunner on January 5, 2012 00:23


Marine police should get appreciation for their quick action and fulfilling their duties without fear.

Immediate actions are required to stop such overloading of ferries and for the security of the passengers.

Great work really.

Posted by phuket ferry on January 5, 2012 11:15


Your post is really very much effective.The content of your post is very much informative.

Posted by Ferry phi phi on January 10, 2012 15:52

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