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Man drowns in Phuket jet-ski accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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A man has died after falling off from a jet-ski at a lagoon in Thalang yesterday (June 21)

Thalang Police were notified about the incident at a lagoon on Srisoonthorn Road near the Valley Housing estate in Thalang at 4.30pm. Phuket Marine Police, diving rescue workers and the Thalang Police were involved in the search for the body.

The search was taking many hours, hampered by the approaching sunset and the muddy waters. Lighting and air tanks with three more diving teams from the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) Phuket Office were called to the scene.

At 10.20pm the man’s body was found in 9 metre deep waters in the lagoon.  The body was taken to Thalang Hospital for further examination. The deceased jet-skier was identified as 34 years old Thai man Eakkachai Thonnam.

Capt Jaras Lempan of the Thalang Police says, “Mr Eakkachai is a mechanic at the Yamaha Company in Koh Kaew. He went on the jet-ski at the lagoon to test the vessel after he had conducted repairs. He wasn’t wearing a life jacket and he couldn’t swim well, according to his workmates. While he was making a turn on the jet-ski, he fell off in the middle of the lagoon.”

 

PHOTOS: Kusoldharm Rescue Foundation

- Kritsada Mueanhawong

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

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Phuket

Phuket crocodile discovered on Kata Noi Beach

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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The crocodile was last seen resting on the shoreline of Kata Noi Beach early this morning (July 21). Swimmers have been banned from going into the water while the capture operation continues.

Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos reported yesterday afternoon that the crocodile was heading to Kata Beach after spending two days taunting officials and professional crocodile hunters in the sea off Nai Harn Beach.

The Karon Municipality’s Mayor Tawee Tongcham was notified by a staff member of the Kata Thani Hotel at 5.30am today that the crocodile was lying on Kata Noi Beach.

Mayor Tawee arrived at the beach and discovered that the crocodile was languishing on the beach. The hotel security guard captured a quick shot with his mobile phone.

It is believed to be the same crocodile that was spotted at Yanui and Nai Harn Beach’s since Wednesday. Kata Noi Beach lifeguards and officials are preventing swimmers and beachgoers from accessing the beach at this stage.

Mayor Tawee says, “We have also reported the latest situation to the Royal Thai Navy. They are planning to assist in the capture of the crocodile. Karon lifeguards are also preventing swimmers from going into the water until the crocodile is caught.”

Read The Thaiger’s previous crocodile stories HERE, HERE and HERE.

 

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Phuket

Surat Thani croc-hunters to the rescue

The Thaiger & The Nation

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(cue dramatic music and slow-motion shot of team walking down Nai Harn Beach, probably with their shirts off)

The ‘Crocodile Hunters of the Tapi River Basin’ have arrived in Phuket to save the day as they help track down a 1, 2 or 3 metre reptile that’s been getting a lot of media and local authority attention but, so far, has been playing hard to get.

The team from the Freshwater Fisheries Suppression and Prevention Centre in Surat Thani call themselves Kraithong Loomnam Tapi.

Kraithong is the hero of a folktale originating in Phichit, north of Bangkok, who rescues a young woman from the evil clutches of the magical crocodile king Chalawan and slays the reptilian villain in battle.

Kraithong Loomnam Tapi arrived on the scene at 3am yesterday (Friday) to join the ongoing hunt for the  crocodile that’s been sunbathing on Nai Harn and Yanui beaches, frolicking in the surf and forcing the closure of the beach to swimmers.

About 40 Tambon Rawai municipal workers and other officials have been looking for the beast since the first sighting on Wednesday (July 18). But Kraithong Loomnam Tapi leader Nikhom Suksawat suggested a change to the strategy.

They went into the water with fishing nets and then waded back ashore in a bid to snag the croc. In the first attempt, they came across the animal, but it was too fast and got away. This went on for another three hours and still no result. Nikhom says the croc needed to tire so they could get close enough to chase it onto the beach. He’s got other tactics in mind to pile the pressure on and wear the reptile out.

Their prey appears to have done what crocodiles do in the meantime: The carcass of a large fish washed ashore during the morning with clear signs of being gnawed by a crocodile.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Entertainment

Water Park Wars – Phuket wettest battlefield

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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by Xinyi Liang-Pholsena of ttgasia.com

ttgasia.com is reporting that the water park battle in Phuket is getting very intense as new players enter the marketplace. Among them Blue Tree Phuket, poised to open its doors early 2019 as an upscale family entertainment and lifestyle complex.

The sprawling 22.5ha development, located around Cherngtalay, is the result of a joint venture comprising unnamed Thai and international partners, who see opportunity in the family-oriented attractions sector by pumping investment upwards of US$40 million into the project.

“Pattaya has two water parks, Hua Hin has three water parks, but Phuket has just small water parks. There’s been a clear demand for inland entertainment alternatives for some time now,” said Michael Ayling, general manager of Blue Tree Phuket. He was speaking to TTG Asia about the upcoming project in an exclusive interview ahead of its pre-launch in August.

“Blue Tree will offer an immersive lifestyle experience that combines the fun of water sports, family activities, retail and relaxation in one strategically located destination that will cater precisely to this demand,” he added.

Facilities within the 11ha first phase, which opens to the public at the start of 2019, includes a water and entertainment park, a four-storey vertical Beach Club, Fitness Zone, Kid’s Club, restaurants and food outlets, and multiple retail spaces.

The complex’s centrepiece – the 17,000 square metre man-made Blue Tree Lagoon – is flanked by artificial beaches and offers an experiential aquatic playground for families, with spaces ranging from a splash zone for young kids to adrenaline-driven activities such as Slip N Fly water slides and cliff jumping.

Ayling envisions Blue Tree to be an “accessible destination” that will appeal to “middle class Thai families and Amanpuri guests” alike. Admission fees will be kept “affordable” with a pay-and-use concept, while full access to all activities will be priced at around 1,000 baht.

Acknowledging the competition upcoming water parks like Vana Nava Phuket and Kata Water Park will bring – both of which are currently in development – Ayling thinks there is still “a lot of space for competition” in Phuket. “We will likely have the (water park) market to ourselves for a few years,” he commented.

“Blue Tree Phuket will also suit the seasonality of the destination and make a great low-season product,” he added, referring to the island’s monsoon months from May to October when the seas experience rougher surf and strong currents.

When asked about the absence of accommodation at Blue Tree Phuket, Ayling stated: “Do we need a 120-room hotel when we have 12,000 rooms in the (Cherngtalay) vicinity already? Phuket’s hotel scene is very competitive, but what isn’t competitive is entertainment.”

STORY: ttgasia.com

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