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Phuket officials conduct safety inspection after fatal speedboat crash

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PHUKET: Marine Department officials inspected boats at the Royal Phuket Marina yesterday in an effort to boost tourists’ confidence in the safety of speedboat tours following a horrific crash that killed two Korean tourists on Sunday (story here).

Jiraporn Jantarasiri, deputy director of the Marine Department, led officials to the marina for an unannounced safety spot check.

“All boats were in line with safety regulations. They were not carrying more than the maximum number of passengers allowed for their vessels and they had plenty of life jackets available for everyone on board,” she said.

“We were told that one of the main issues is that after the boats depart, many tourists take off their life jackets. I have urged operators to keep a close watch on their passengers and ensure that they are wearing their life jackets properly.

“Checking on operators at the pier cannot guarantee that an accident won’t happen. However, they are now aware that we are watching them closely.”

Ms Jiraporn affirmed that the accident had no immediate impact on boat tour numbers.

“Perhaps this is because of the efficiency of the rescue mission,” Ms Jiraporn speculated.

Search and rescue divers recovered the bodies of Ko Min Woo, 31, (story here) and An Sun Yong, 28, (story here) on Tuesday after two days of scouring the Andaman Sea’s surface following the accident, in which a Seastar speedboat crashed into a fishing trawler (video report here).

— Athip Karndee

 

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