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Phuket's Surin beach, where jet-skis are banned from operating

Patong Jet-Ski Operators Test Positive: Battle to Win Back the Beaches

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
PHUKET: Drugs tests carried out in a surpise raid on Patong beach jet-ski operators found some testing negative, Colonel Panya Chaichana told a meeting yesterday.

And the level of competence of speedboat ''captains'' and crews returning to Phuket with day-trip tourist passengers remained a concern, he said.

After yesterday's regular two-weekly tourism meeting with Governor Maitree Intrusud at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City, Marine Police raided jet-ski operators at Kata beach.

None of the Kata jet-ski operators tested positive, Colonel Panya told Phuketwan late yesterday.

The battle for space at Patong beach continues, with Colonel Panya suggesting that after a parasail speedboat crashed with a jet-ski, the speedboats should move further out.

''It's too dangerous for tourists in the water when they operate close to the beach,'' he said. ''There should be a specific zone for parasailers on Patong beach.''

Chief of Phuket's Marine 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, told the meeting that zoning the parasailers could not be achieved.

It has been suggested that jet-skis could operate from pontoons offshore. So far that idea has also been dismissed.

In describing two recent incidents involving jet-skis, Khun Phuripat said that in the first, an Australian tourist was ''showing off to the girls'' when he overturned and sank a jet-ski at Karon.

In the second incident, a Chinese tourist was injured at Patong and the Governor visited the man in hospital with a basket of fruit, Khun Phuripat said.

Colonel Panya suggested that jet-ski operators should accompany tourists when they go for a ride, but Khun Phuripat said that would restrict the tourists when they wanted to have fun.

Governor Maitree noted that the British Embassy was backing a water safety summit, to be held on Phuket next month.

Meanwhile, Kathu Director Veera Kerdsirimongkol has met with local councils and village leaders in his bid to clear 400 metres of Patong beach of loungers, jet-ski operators, parasailers and vendors.

He said there were no comments when the proposal was put at a meeting this week.

''Just in case people were uncomfortable voicing their opinions at the meeting, I plan to send letters to them all so their endorsements are in written form,'' he said.

He is also considering a survey of tourists and their wishes, to be conducted by Prince of Songkhla University.

Comments

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It is always enlightening to read what K. Phuripat has to say.

His comments certainly answer a lot more questions than he is presented with.

Posted by ThaiMike on September 4, 2013 10:15

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As they are making business with tourists, jet-ski and parasail operators should have a TAT licence with at least one registered guide with TAT Office in order to deal with foreigners willing to sign up for a ride and giving the proper informations about the dangers to plan these activities.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on September 4, 2013 10:18

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I don't understand why it's impossible to zone the parasailers. Most other beaches in the world have a designated area of entry and buoys to zone where they can go. Having witnessed many close calls on Kata Noi recently by an aggressive group driving sometimes through groups of tourists to operate their business. When one angry tourist approached the parasail group they said 'this is our beach now f___ off.' Making a 'quiet zone' is a brilliant idea with no loungers or jet skis. I wish them luck with these tough changes.

Posted by Jon on September 4, 2013 12:07

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Some tested negative???
Very Surprising...

Posted by Jabbers ovSSu on September 4, 2013 12:48

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"I don't understand why it's impossible to zone the parasailers."

Because the parasail and jetski operators don't want that. It is time Phuripat is replaced so things can be done.

Posted by stevenl on September 4, 2013 13:09

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@Whistle blower
So people, who rent car and motorcycle to tourists, need a TAT license then, too?
It would be 'enough', that only legal skipper deal with this business. legally, to drive a jet ski, you need a skipper license on 'board': problem solved!

@Jabbers ovSSu

And sound so much nicer, then 'many tested positive'.

I would like to read about the punishment for 'not testing negative', in these cases.

Posted by Anonymous on September 4, 2013 13:11

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Seems like anything that means work for Khun Phuripat can't be done!!!!!!

Posted by phuket madness on September 4, 2013 13:17

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Perhaps a junket to Boracay. They have a very well zoned beach/ water system. There are select areas where boats/ jet skis etc. can come to the beach. I think three or four. The rest of the area is for swimmers. There is no need for cordoning off the swim areas as they are the majority of the space. The beach access areas for boats are clearly marked on the beach and maps and it seems to work very well.

Posted by Duncan on September 4, 2013 13:26

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I have just finished a month in Pattaya. There Parasail operators work from a couple of barges well away from swimmers and jet skis.
The other amazing thing was the total lack of Tuk Tuks. The baht bus system appears to work well there and provide a cheap and efficient service on there set routes.
I seem to recall that Khun Phuripat has previously made comments that protect jet ski operators and blame tourists for accidents both with jet skis and speeb boats. Correct me of course if I am wrong but he has always seemed like a supporter of the status quo.

Posted by Arthur on September 4, 2013 14:36

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@Anonymous Quoted: So people, who rent car and motorcycle to tourists, need a TAT license then, too?

That would be the best option to reduce problems with hospitals.
TAT registration Office may make compulsory a professional insurance for motorcycle & car rental operators as we have for diving and tour businesses.
Also this policy would limit to only professional and make all individuals illegal renters out of business which wil be fair to those paying full insurance and taxes.

Note that you can insure motorcycles with full insurance for accident which is costing about 2,000 baht a year per motorcycle.
My 3 motorcycles are insured with that insurance.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on September 4, 2013 14:45

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@ anonymous. I agree. So much nicer.
Legalise It. ( in a bob Marley voice )

Posted by Jabbers ovSSu on September 4, 2013 19:16

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What a strange story. As others have said some tested negative. The Governor appears to be working very hard. Yet still no evidence of bobbies on the beat. And no sign of 700 new officers. Only road blocks to supplement BIB income. Except at lunch time.

Posted by gee on September 4, 2013 20:57


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