Connect with us


Aussie yachties dodge 10,000 baht fine east of Phuket



PHUKET: A 10,000 baht fine lodged against an Australian-owned yacht was dropped after officials confirmed that the vessel was registered with the Phuket Marine Office.

Over the weekend, four Australian yachties claimed that a group of six uniformed Thai marine officers had shown up on a dinghy and had attempted to extort money from them while at sea in Phang Nga Bay.

The Thai officers and Australians had a 45-minute-long broken conversation about the charges before the officers wrote up the official fine and left without money, explained Phang Nga Marine Office Chief Wimonman Suwannarat to the Phuket Gazette today.

“The officials that handed down the fine that day are my staff,” Ms Wimonman said.

“I ordered them to drop the case after we found out that the Australian yacht was registered in Phuket.”

Ms Wimonman denied reports that her officers had called the Australians multiple times after the fact, asking for the payment.

Ms Wimonman also denied that the fine had been imposed because the Australian vessel was not flying a Thai flag while in Thai waters.

“The 10,000 baht fine was charged because the marine officers inspecting the yacht believed that there was no Thai captain or engineer on board. They were not aware that the vessel had already been registered with the Phuket Marine Office,” she explained.

“The fine had nothing to do with the lack of a Thai flag.”

Both Ms Wimonman and Phuket Marine Office Chief Phuriphat Theerakulpisut confirmed that there is no fine for not flying a Thai flag on a foreign vessel.

“Of course, it is good manners to fly the flag of the country you are passing through. However, you will not be fined for not doing so,” said Mr Phuriphat.

Moreover, Ms Wimonman confirmed that internationally-registered vessels are not required to have Thai captains.

“Captains on these vessels have international licences, therefore a Thai captain is not required,” she said.

Ms Wimonman told the Gazette she believes this incident can serve as a lesson for better communication among marine officials.

“Good communication skills and making sure that everyone is up-to-date and properly informed are all important issues that need to be raised in Phang Nga and Phuket – and even in other nearby provinces,” Ms Wimonman said.

Ms Wimonman also voiced her hopes that the new regulations regarding the Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) for all foreign-flagged yachts (story here) would help make marine officers’ jobs easier.

“The same AIS regulations for Phuket will also take effect in Phang Nga and Krabi. I hope that this system will help make our jobs easier, and help us to identify all boats entering and exiting our waters,” she said.

“We must find a way to manage this system so it will benefit everyone.”

— Chutharat Plerin


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Eastern Thailand13 hours ago

German man believed to have monkeypox briefly fled police

Thailand14 hours ago

New app to help migrant women in Thailand facing abuse

Cambodia15 hours ago

Nigerian man recovers from monkeypox, handed to Cambodian authorities

Sponsored3 days ago

The return of the most important coffee event in Thailand

World16 hours ago

Unusually heavy floods in Pakistan kill 549, thousands of homes damaged

Thailand16 hours ago

How to get the Thailand Elite Visa?

Transport17 hours ago

BTS is offering a free ride… with your mom

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Bangkok17 hours ago

Fire at Energy Ministry’s compound in Bangkok

Phuket18 hours ago

2 meth busts in Phuket this past week

Politics18 hours ago

NIDA Poll: PM Prayut should not extend term after August 24

Chon Buri20 hours ago

Mountain Pub fire: 15 victims dead, owner arrested, club uninsured

Chon Buri20 hours ago

Police transferred, safety measures enacted in wake of Mountain B fire

Bangkok20 hours ago

Bangkok taxi driver who snapped himself raping teen gets jailed

Video21 hours ago

Building a $100mil business in Thailand feat. Michael Kenner | Thaiger Podcast Ep. 1

Tourism21 hours ago

Major jump in Thailand Airbnb searches

Economy22 hours ago

Thailand’s hotels are short on workers

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11