Connect with us


Phuket jet-skis face new rules for tourism high season

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Phuket Marine Office Chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut confirmed to the Phuket Gazette this week that his office has granted operators permission to continue to rent out jet-skis, despite widespread public furor over the industry’s history of horrific accidents, extortion and violence against tourists.

His reasons for bowing yet again to the operators’ wishes continue shrouded, his only concessions to the public interest this time being a promise of tighter controls, including the creation of dedicated, roped-off swimming zones.

“We held several meetings with local officials and jet-ski operators to come up with the new rules at Patong and other beaches,” Mr Phuripat said.

A key condition is that jet-skis may no longer be kept on the beach. Instead, they must remain in the water or otherwise be removed completely from the sand.

“The operators will have 12 areas in Patong where jet-skis may remain in the water near the beach. These areas will lie between 16 roped off swimming zones,” the Marine chief explained.

“Each swimming zone will be 150 meters wide at the beach and extend 50m into the water. Buoys will be attached to the ropes to mark the outer boundaries of the swimming zones, which will be 100m wide.”

The swimming zones will be in front of the following areas: Seaview Hotel, Ocean Hotel, Holiday Hotel, Soi Kebsub, Baan Thai Hotel, Patong Resort Hotel, Patong Beach Resort, Patong Inn Hotel, Patong Bay Hotel, Cabana Resort, the Loma Park intersection, opposite the football field near Loma Park, Graceland Resort, Swiss Bungalow and the Yee-teng project opposite the Novotel resort at the north end of the beach.

However, Patong Mayor Charlermluk Kebsup told the Gazette on Thursday that her officers would have to wait until the seas were calm enough to set up the swimming zones.

“Obviously, we can’t set them up while there is still strong surf, but we will put up the ropes as soon as practicable,” she said.

Parasail operators will also be allowed to keep working from the beaches, but not in areas where jet-skis come and go, Mr Phuripat explained

“There are 286 jet-ski operators and 36 parasail operators registered with us. They all have insurance.
There will be no more,” he assured.

Mr Phuripat warned that jet-ski operators were walking a tightrope on whether or not they will be permitted to continue renting out their machines to tourists.

“If they fail to comply with the new regulations or are involved in any major accidents, they ‘may’ lose their right to rent out jet-skis entirely,” he said.

But his “warning” was very quickly put to the test on Tuesday when he faced the incident at Kata in which a female tourist lying on a mat on the beach was run over by jeep towing a jet-ski trailer (story here).

“We do not have enough officers to check on the operators every day,” Mr Phuripat admitted. “We have set the rules and will check on them ‘from time to time’.

“If there is a problem, the police will be brought in. If an operator causes a ‘serious’ issue, that would surely lead to us to revoking his permission to continue renting out jet-skis. We will review such instances case by case.”

Patong Jet-Ski Club President Nucha Petchvimol told the Gazette that his members were ‘willing’ to follow the new rules.

“We are not bad guys. We appreciate being granted permission to continue renting out jet-skis. We will do our best to impress tourists,” he said.

“We accept whatever the officials require and we are always willing to help by cleaning the beach or assisting as volunteer lifeguards.”

Watchara Koysakul, head of the Kamala Jet-Ski Club, also said that he had no reservations about complying with the new rules, but hoped for a relaxation of them next low season, after April.

“We have no problems with leaving the jet-skis in the water during the high season, when the sea is calm,” he said.

“However, when the low season comes, officials might want to review the new rules. I hope they will provide us a place to earn our living.”

— Chutharat Plerin


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to be donated to Thailand from Japan

Bangkok5 hours ago

Bangkok police warn that protests planned for Thursday break the Emergency Decree

Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Hotel occupancy, Phuket beaches hit with tar balls, doctor ‘warning’ | June 21

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Thailand6 hours ago

Pattaya residents complain of sinkholes in road, couple sustains injuries

Insurgency6 hours ago

2 suspected insurgents killed in gunfire exchange with police-military team

Best of6 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Hua Hin

Thailand6 hours ago

Army raids a house, arrests 53 as part of alleged gambling operation

Best of6 hours ago

Top 5 Insurance Companies for Expats in Thailand

Thailand7 hours ago

Thailand abstains from vote on UN resolution condemning Myanmar violence

Leisure7 hours ago

Top 5 Rooftop Bars in Bangkok

Best of7 hours ago

Top 5 Shabu-Shabu Restaurants in Bangkok

Indonesia7 hours ago

Indonesia approaches 2 million Covid cases

Thailand7 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 3,175 new cases; infections rise in the Deep South

Pollution8 hours ago

Oil slick and ‘tar balls’ wash up on Phuket’s beaches – what caused it?

Best of8 hours ago

Top 5 Ice Cream Shops in Bangkok

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8