Foreigners complain they can’t swim at Koh Samui beach due to smelly oil spill

Photo via MGR Online

French and German tourists complained that a smelly oil spill prevented them from swimming at Maenam Beach yesterday in Koh Samui, Surat Thani province, southern Thailand.

A German man told reporters that he went to the beach to sunbathe and play in the water. But when he tried to go swimming, he noticed a foul smell emanating from the sea. The water was brown and looked oily, so he didn’t dare get in.

Locals went out on a boat and brought back water samples which they said were “murky” and “rancid.”

A French tourist who went to Maenam Beach yesterday said she was “really disappointed” because she couldn’t swim as she intended. When she saw the state of the water, she said she was “unhappy but still loved Koh Samui,” reports MGR Online. Fed up, the Frenchwoman opted for a traditional Thai massage instead.

Tourists fly from thousands of miles away to experience Koh Samui’s world-famous white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. So it’s understandable that the tourists were frustrated that the beach didn’t look how it does on the postcards.

Right now it’s not clear whether the oil at Maenam Beach is from the possible oil spill reported in the Gulf of Thailand last week,

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) deployed marines to help contain a possible oil spill from a damaged oil storage vessel, the FSO Bechamas 2, after an explosion on board that killed one crew member. The other 28 crew members were safe.

The ship was carrying 400,000 barrels of crude oil when the explosion happened during routine maintenance, around 207 kilometres from Sattahip Naval Base in Chon Buri province.

The RTN was deployed to help plug the leak that let seawater into the hull of the ship and help to transport the deceased back to shore.

With a thick layer of choking PM2.5 dust pollution swarming over much of the kingdom, and oil in the seas, Thailand is currently not the paradise it once was.

Foreigners can't swim at Koh Samui beach due to smelly oil spill

Foreigners can't swim at Koh Samui beach due to smelly oil spill
Photo via MGR Online

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.