Phuket Marine Police bust jet ski operators over licenses

Jet ski operators caught, photo by Phuket Marine Police.

Jet skiing is a popular activity for tourists in Phuket, but not all operators seem to be following the rules.

The Phuket Marine Police last week busted jet ski operators for crimes involving improper licenses. This news comes as the police have been ramping up jet ski inspections at popular tourist beaches.

The six operators on Bang Tao Beach were arrested for not having proper licenses, as well as for having expired licenses, The Phuket News reported on Monday.

The operators now face a fine of up to 10,000 baht.

The Marine Police have now issued a warning that operating jet skis without the correct license, technically a Helmsman Class II license, can result in up to six months in jail or fines ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 baht.

Phuket Marine Police Chief Lt Col Jeerayut Niyomdet said that people renting jet skis without licenses will not be punished. He said…

“The client will not be arrested as they rented it. The person who must hold the driver’s license is the operator of the jet ski.”

However, chief Jeerayut said that people who own and drive their jet skis must have the correct license.

In the past few months, there have been a few crimes in Thailand involving jet skis.

In a more outlandish story last month, a drunk Saudi tourist caused a commotion on Patong Beach after he was caught trying to steal a jet ski. The tourist, who was described as anxious and intoxicated, also attacked a jet-ski caretaker and tried to escape.

Also last month, two Russian tourists were fined 20,000 baht for jet skiing in Krabi province, in southern Thailand, where the watersport is prohibited. Jet skis and all other kinds of motorised water sports are banned in Krabi province to protect the environment.

In January, officials rounded up five jet skis and one parasail boat on Surin Beach. The jet skis were found to have licenses to operate off Bang Thao Beach, while the parasail boat was permitted to operate in the sea off Kamala Beach. Both beaches are about 3 kilometres away from Surin Beach.

Crime NewsPhuket News

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.