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Marines spearhead Phi Phi Island beach cleanup campaign

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: About 60 officers took to the beaches of the popular party island Phi Phi, east of Phuket, today to talk with seaside vendors and inspect buildings suspected of encroaching on national park land.

“We only inspected the buildings. Tomorrow, we will file a complaint against any buildings we believe to be encroaching on park land,” Capt Prinyatham Poonpitagtham of the Royal Thai Marine Corps told the Phuket Gazette.

Then it will be up to the police to order the business owners to remove within 30 days any structures deemed to be encroaching on Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park land.

Officers today also swept along the island’s beaches.

“We talked to the beach vendors about the future of the beach and heard what they had to say about the cleanup,” said Capt Prinyatham.

The beach chair operators are allowed to stay on the beach while police and other relevant authorities determine whether or not they cause a problem for tourists, he explained.

“What we plan to do for now is to allow the beach chair and umbrella operators to move their belongings further back from the water, so that there is more space for tourists to lie on the sand,” said Capt Prinyatham.

“They will also be restricted to only one row of chairs along the beach.”

Additionally, the entire beach area would be re-organized by the end of the month to maximize safety, he added.

“Part of our mission is to set up designated areas where sailboats can safely anchor, as well as zones that are specifically for swimmers,” Capt Prinyatham said.

“We will make tour operators aware of these new anchoring and swimming zones.”

Local officers from the national park, the Marine Department, the Ao Nang Tambon Administration Organization (OrBorTor) and local police will coordinate with the Navy and Army on what needs to be done, said Capt Prinyatham.

“Our intention is not to arrest people. We want to work everything out cordially,” he added.

— Chutharat Plerin


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