Phuket jet-skis still uninsured

PHUKET: A number of jet-skis continue to operate in Phuket uninsured, despite a scheme launched last year aimed at having every jet-ski in Phuket covered by accident insurance.

Of the island’s 219 registered jet-skis, 43 still have not joined the scheme.

In addition, around 40 unregistered jet-skis continue to operate illegally on Patong Beach.

Marine Transport Department Officer Songchai Na Nakorn admitted authorities had no legal power to force registered operators to take out insurance.

“By law, we can only arrest jet-ski operators who have not registered. But for jet-skis without insurance, all we can do is ask for co-operation,” he said.

Phuket Vice Governor Teerayut Eimtrakul chaired a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall on February 25 to discuss ways of solving the problems

V/Gov Teerayut urged all relevant organizations to take serious action against unregistered jet-skis still doing business in Phuket.

He has ordered a new subcommittee to scrutinize the jet-ski industry at the four areas where the vehicles operate: Patong, Kata-Karon, Kamala and Bang Tao.

The subcommittee will start working next week

Suwimon Saelim, director of the Phuket Provincial Insurance Office, said that between November 17 and February 5, Phuket jet-skis made 109 insurance claims, with a total of 422,104.55 baht paid out.

“That’s almost a 30% loss ratio over the high season, which is quite a lot. We hope it will be lower during the low season,” she said.

Anusorn Sahreh, president of Phuket Jet-ski Association, said the illegal jet-skis were the main obstacle to getting full participation in the insurance scheme.

“Most of the jet-skis who haven’t paid are from Bang Tao. They think they don’t have to sign up because they know there are at least 40 unregistered jet-skis in Patong operating without insurance,” he said.

V/Gov Teerayut said the province had set 219 as the number of jet-skis allowed to operate in Phuket.

“If any operators want to add more jet-skis, we’ll have to talk about that later,” he said.

— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat

Phuket News
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