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Boat and ‘life jackets’ not fit-for-purpose

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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The Tourist Police Bureau have revealed that the ‘Phoenix’ was not ‘fit for purpose’ for operations in the seas off Phuket whilst the buoyancy aids that were provided for passengers didn’t reach the minimum standards required for safety vests.

In the latest zero-dollar tour investigation, linked to the two boats and last Thursday’s boat sinkings, tourist police seized 21 non-standard buoyancy aids at an office believed to be used as the operations centre for the boat tours involved with ‘Phoenix’.

Tourist Police Deputy Commander Maj Gen Surachate Hakparn says, “Yesterday we went to Tanawat shipyard in Rassada where the ‘Phoenix’ boat was constructed. We have found that another twin boat of ‘Phoenix’, with the same blue prints, is currently being prepared and was constructed here too. The other boat has already been moved to another area after 70% of its construction has been completed.”

“A boat engineer and consultant has analysed the plans for the vessels and determined that the ‘Phoenix’ design has inherent problems.”

“The design seems to have many flaws. The boat should not take to sea with many passengers. The most important thing is the engine door design at the lower level of the boat. When sea water got into the boat the boat engine would be flooded and would stop working.”

“We have also found that the ‘life jackets’ do not reach the International Standard. Those ‘life jackets’ were made at a manufacturing company in Lop Buri, 150 kilometres northeast of Bangkok, but the jackets are labelled that they were made in Nakhon Ratchasima. We are now working with the Office of the Consumer Protection Board (OCPB) to find out more about these jackets.”

“We want to tell Thai people who have acted as nominees for foreigners to stop doing this. Relevant officers and I are collecting evidence to take the highest level of legal action against these offenders. I am sure that there are many businesses working as nominee.”

“After the boat has been recovered, I will return to clear these nominee issues. If any government office is found to be involved with the boats and their ability to be used to take tours in Phuket, legal action will be taken against them.

Collecting the daily news around Phuket for many years. One of the island's most accurate and timely news-gatherers.

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Hua Hin

TAT criticises operators of suspended Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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The Tourism Authority of Thailand is criticising the operator of the Pattaya-Hua Hin ferry service over the suspension of boat trips on the grounds that it is low season and too few passengers.

The Prachuap Khiri Khan Harbour Office announced this morning that the Royal Passenger Line would suspend the service from September 20 to October 31 and would resume services on November 1.


However, Orasa Avudhkhom, director of the Prachuap Khiri Khan Office of TAT, says that the low season should not be a reason for suspending services. She said boat services should only be suspended if the sea was too rough or weather conditions were hazardous.

She said the suspension of services will affect tourism in Hua Hin. The ferry route concessionaire should have used marketing campaigns during the low season to attract business, instead of suspending the services, she said.

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Bangkok

Man arrested for alleged attempted rape of nine year old girl

The Thaiger & The Nation

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by Kornkamon Aksorndech and Supachai Phetchthewee

Police have arrested a motorcycle taxi driver for allegedly luring a nine year old girl into a Bangkok temple toilet yesterday in an attempt to rape her.

The alleged incident took place at 5pm at the Wat Yoo Dee Bumrungtham (Wat Or Ngern) toilet in the Saimai district.

The alleged assault was stopped when the girl screamed for help and a monk, armed with a metal bar, managed to rescue the young girl as her attacker fled.

Based on the description they gave, police questioned the accused man who had been previously arrested for marijuana possession. He gave his name as Ae, although he carried no ID.

Ae, aged in his 40s, reportedly told police that the girl hailed his motorcycle taxi to go to her mother's house in Sukha Pibal 5 area and on the way he made a stop to use the toilet.

He allegedly told the girl to go into the toilet and then ...
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Phuket

Russian tourist stung by ‘fire jellyfish’ at Patong Beach

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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PHOTOS: Patong Lifeguards / Newshawk Phuket

A female Russian tourist has sustained a painful sting on her leg from a ‘fire jellyfish’ at Patong beach today (September 20).

Patong lifeguards are warning of jellyfish known locally as the ‘fire jellyfish’ at Patong Beach.

Fire Jellyfish or Morbakka fenneri can be discovered in tropical watersa. The physical appearance of this jellyfish is slightly larger than most jellyfish. The fire jellyfish can be seen from their pink coloured body, four inch body length and their bell is two-inches in diameter. Their stings are also painful but no worse than other jellyfish.

Patong lifeguards say, “We have provided first aid to a the Russian lady who refused to go to a hospital. If you are stung by one, pouring sea water or vinegar on the affected area can help relieve some of  the pain. Please don’t use fresh water and don’t scratch.”

"Many tourists sustai...
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