Connect with us


Greed jeopardizing tourists’ safety, says Racha group



Greed jeopardizing tourists’ safety, says Racha group | Thaiger

PHUKET: Reckless speedboat captains and tour guides chasing day-trip commissions have been named as the leading culprits jeopardizing tourists’ safety at Koh Racha, a popular day-trip island south of Phuket.

Sarit Jandee, president of the Racha Conservation Club, blamed tour guides for encouraging day-trippers to swim and rent water-sports equipment on the west side of the island, which at this time of year has rough surf.

“The guides don’t warn the tourists about the big waves and there might be only one guide for 60 tourists. They can’t look after everyone because the tourists separate.

“When the day-trippers get into trouble in the sea, they also endanger those trying to help them… We have no lifeguards on Racha Island,” he said.

The problem was exacerbated by the increasing number of tourists visiting the island, he explained.

“Even in the low season, there are 800 to 1,000 day-trippers every day,” said Mr Sarit, adding that two Chinese tourists have drowned at the island in the past nine months.

More tourists mean more speedboats, which drop off visitors and moor in swimming areas, and therefore need to operate with care. However, Mr Sarit said, some captains “are more interested in fun than tourists’ safety”.

“They approach the beach fast and turn fast when they are near the shore, without regard for swimmers and snorkellers,” he said.

Mr Sarit raised the issue on Friday at a meeting chaired by Phuket Vice Governor Sommai Prijasilpa.

In light of speedboats threatening tourists’ safety, Vice Governor Sommai advised establishing zones where the boats can moor and drop anchor and other zones where tourists can swim safely, Mr Sarit said.

On the environmental front, Mr Sarit reported some improvements since Vice Governor Sommai visited Koh Racha Yai in February.

He praised garbage management at The Racha hotel, and noted that The Racha had installed a new wastewater-treatment system. Baan Raya, he said, was setting up a proper method of disposing of grease in kitchen grease traps.

In addition to praising several hotels on the island, V/Gov Sommai repeatedly noted at the public meeting that the Rayaburi, one of the biggest resorts on the island, was failing to meet standards.

Rayaburi is still not disposing of garbage properly, she said.

“They transfer their recyclables to the mainland infrequently, which means they end up burning much more than they should on the island,” she said.

The Rayaburi and one of the smaller resorts on the island continue to release untreated wastewater directly into the sea, she added.

And Mr Sarit leveled a third charge, beach encroachment, against the Rayaburi, saying that it still had a big wall along the beachfront.

In February, Vice Governor Sommai put Phuket Marine Office chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut in charge of beach encroachment issues, but Mr Phuripat did not attend the meeting on Friday.

“His representative said he knew nothing about the wall,” Mr Sarit said.

A follow-up meeting is scheduled for August.

— Saran Mitrarat


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:

Crime4 hours ago

Fans stage simulation of Tangmo’s death in protest of law activist’s defamation case

Thailand4 hours ago

Thai road sweepers get safer new uniform for work

Thailand4 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Police patrol Pattaya Beach looking for guns, booze, prostitutes

Sponsored13 hours ago

Starting a business and obtaining SMART Visa in Thailand is easy with Startup Booster

Phuket5 hours ago

4 Chinese fishermen lost at sea rescued near Phuket

Pattaya5 hours ago

Two lost children found on Pattaya’s Walking Street

Guides5 hours ago

5 underrated apps you need to use in Thailand this year

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Phuket6 hours ago

Cheeky Taoist procession spices up Phuket’s veggie fest

World6 hours ago

Avalanche strikes mountaineering team in Indian Himalayas, 4 killed

Cannabis6 hours ago

Can foreigners legally grow cannabis in Thailand?

Tourism6 hours ago

1-billion-baht tourism stimulus back on track

Thailand6 hours ago

Ordination ceremony concert goes on despite flood

Hot News7 hours ago

Flooding may impact Thailand’s tourism recovery

Road deaths7 hours ago

Young woman killed in hit-and-run in Chon Buri

Hot News7 hours ago

Myanmar youth artists hold art challenge to raise awareness of country’s plight

Entertainment7 hours ago

“One For the Road” film is Thailand’s 25th Oscar attempt

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years 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