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Concerns about diver safety in waters around Phuket, too

Phuket Fears That Fatal Dive Could Happen Here

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
SOME LOCAL divers are concerned that a boat-and-diver collision of the kind that killed one Russian and seriously injured his companion off Pattaya this week could happen off Phuket.

While Phuket has a new sea rescue service on the way, little is done for safety education, one senior industry member, who prefers to remain anonymous, told Phuketwan.

The Russians were struck by the propellors of a tour boat while scuba diving off Pattaya on Monday.

''It would certainly help to prevent another killing if the Thai authorities gave the drivers of speed boats, dive boats and ferries a proper education up to international standard,'' he said.

He added that congested areas off Phuket remained the most dangerous.

''At Maya Bay [famed for the film 'The Beach' near Phi Phi] speedboats and large ferry boats are moving among hundred of snorkelers and divers,'' he said.

''All coral reefs are sometimes visited by speedboats travelling at high speed to impress tourists.

''Divers may be resurfacing. Regulations stipulate a three-knot speed near shore, or close to reefs.

''Large powered dive boats (20-35 meters) and dive speedboats are dropping and picking up divers on dive sites where tender dinghies should be in use for safety.

''Regulations say boats should be at least 50 meters off any dive site, marked by blue and white flags, and use dinghies for dropping and picking-up divers.''

The dive operator nominated the Similans, Surin Island and Richelieu Rock are the most dangerous places for divers, with sometimes more than 10 dive boats at Richelieu Rock at the same time.

A budget of 17 million baht has been allocated to purchase three boats and create an Andaman Sea Rescue Service for Phuket and neighboring provinces, possibly before 2011.

Phuketwan believes the amount has been set aside because of the poor performance of existing services after the capsize of a dive boat last year.

Seven people on board, six of them tourists, drowned. The 23 survivors bobbed in broad daylight in liferaft for many hours before they managed to organise their own rescue.
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Comments

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I agree. I was snorkelling off a small island just before Christmas off the coast of Phuket and was nearly nailed by a speedboat that missed me by a couple of feet. I never even heard it coming.

Posted by Anonymous on January 13, 2010 17:09

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Argh you little cry babies, Boo hoo to you, come to me here in Surin, Kamala, Ban Layan, Trisara, Amanpuri right up to Mak Khao, you would crap yourselves if you see the near misses in the water between boat and swimmer. Welcome to Thailand, Phuket, South Africa, Angola where people die as a result of stupidity.

Posted by Graham on January 13, 2010 18:37

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and what about the parasails and bananas

passing very fast, parallel to the beach

less than 20 meters every minute ???

Posted by Anonymous on January 13, 2010 20:01

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The parasail speedboats in Karon are an accident just waiting to happen. The speedboat usually has the driver only aboard, and as he swings into the beach shallows, among the swimmers, still at full speed, he is not looking forward, but backwards to watch the parachute descending on the target patch of beach.

Common sense dictates that the boat should have two people aboard, one of whom should be looking forward for a path through the swimmers.

But common sense is a rare commodity round here.

Posted by Nemo on January 13, 2010 21:12

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The safety record around Phuket for marine traffic is not good. Swimmers and divers have been hit and killed by jet-skis, long-tails, speedboats, and even large diving boats over the years. Not to mention being flown into coconut trees and killed while parasailing.

I was hit by a tender dinghy while swimming at Nai Harn last season, luckily by the rubber in the front and not the propeller. like the roads, it is an absolute free-for-all out there and quite dangerous.

Posted by Treelover on January 14, 2010 10:44

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In Florida a second person and a rearview mirror is required in boats towing anything!

Posted by Wessi on January 14, 2010 19:01


Wednesday October 27, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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