Pattaya officials have conducted urgent marine safety checks following the Phuket boat tragedy where two boats sank and 47 Chinese tourists drowned on July 6. In yet another knee-jerk reaction to an incident, the Marine Department and municipal police checked licenses, boat seaworthiness and life-jacket use at Bali Hai Pier in Pattaya.
The checks follow the sinking of the tour boats Phoenix and Serenata in heavy seas between Koh Racha and Koh Hei, on their way back to Chalong Pier.
The Pattaya Mail says, “Such accidents routinely are followed by much-ballyhooed “crackdowns” on marine safety in Pattaya and elsewhere. But the crackdowns are soon forgotten and then it becomes business as usual again until the next tourist dies.”
Pattaya authorities are ordering life guard and sea-rescue squads to remain vigilant, municipal police to check all boats leaving port, and Marine Department inspectors to check speedboat and ferry licenses in the seaside resort.
Cynical netizens haven’t been kind to , what they see, as more of a media stunt than a real crackdown on Pattaya’s marine safety standards….
“So only and unless there’s a tragedy with scores dying because of gross negligence, those safety checks will remain ‘dusted and unused’?….Nice….”
“There have been numerous sinkings & collisions here in Pattaya, and officials swore they’d get on top of this and wouldn’t happen again. Were they lying to us? Shocking!”
“Another good photo shoot to try to convince the gullible… true to Thai fashion give it 5 minutes… when the spot light goes away so will the B.S… then business back to normal.. and another accident waiting to happen.”
(Comments from the ThaiVisa Forum)
SOURCES: Pattaya Mail, Thai Visa
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