PHUKET: Following a Cabinet ruling this week, the Andaman Sea Rescue Service (ASRS) is set to receive 18 million baht to splash out on new speedboats and lifesaving equipment.
The decision came as welcome news to the overstretched ASRS Phuket, which currently operates sea rescue services in Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi, Ranong and Trang provinces along the Andaman coast.
With the new budget, ASRS intends to buy three new ‘rescue packages’.
Each will include a new speedboat, life raft and communications and medical equipment.
Two of the packages will be allocated to Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi provinces with one package set aside to include Trang and Ranong.
ASRS rescue workers, many of whom are volunteers, will also undergo a 45-day training program headed up by the Thai Navy and Marine Police.
“With the new speedboats, training and equipment, Phuket’s tourists and residents will be safer in Phuket’s waters,” said Udomporn Karn, head of operations at the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation center in Phuket.
“Our response time will be much faster and we can provide additional support to all five provinces in our jurisdiction with the new equipment,” he said.
However, it could take at least five months before the money reaches the ASRS.
— Atchaa Khamlo
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