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Legal Phuket jet-ski operators threaten to join illegal cowboys

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Fed up with illegal jet-ski operators serving tourists at Bang Tao Beach, the local legal jet-ski brigade yesterday threatened to abandon all legalities and join the jet-ski cowboys.

Unregistered and uninsured jet-skis and parasail boats returned to the beach in November, said Surachai Yomdee, head of the Bang Tao Jet-Ski Club.

“The illegal jet-skis and parasail boats do not have the required stickers indicating that they are legally registered with the authorities,” he said.

Mr Surachai also alleged that the parasail boat involved in the incident last week that saw a staffer plunge more than 30 meters from the sky was illegal (story here).

“Every time we report these illegal operators, the Phuket Office of the Marine Department just keeps stalling. We need higher levels of government to help us,” he told the Phuket Gazette.

“We don’t know why these illegal operators do whatever they want, as they have done for a long time…

“But if the Marine Office continues to ignore this, we will not renew our tourism-business licences, re-register our jet-skis, renew our insurance policies, or follow any of the rules.”

The Bang Tao Jet-Ski Club comprises 40 operators, who are all legally registered tourism operators and all their jet-skis are registered and insured, Mr Surachai explained.

“If there is no action on this, we will refuse to be legal,” he said. “We can be just like the rest of them without having to pay all the extra costs.”‘

Phuriphat Theerakulpisut, chief of the Phuket Marine Office, told the Gazette this morning that he was aware of the ultimatum laid down by the legal operators.

“I dispatched officers today to catch the illegal jet-ski operators at Bang Tao,” he said.

However, regarding the allegedly illegal parasail boat involved in the 30m free fall by the staffer, he added, “I have no information about that.”

Mr Phuriphat last week admitted to the Gazette that he was aware of the free fall incident, but refused to comment further (story here).

— Voratuss Intasee

 

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

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