Officials say no to floating lanterns and fireworks on Patong Beach

Officials seize illegal fireworks and lanterns in Patong.

Officials aren’t liking floating lanterns and fireworks on Patong Beach. On Wednesday night, officials were alerted that vendors were welling these items on the beach, according to Kathu District Chief Siwat Rawangkul.

A team led by Siwat then inspected the beach to crack down on people selling and using the items. The team then found stashes of lanterns and fireworks near trees. Siwat told The Phuket Express…

“We went to Patong Beach last night where we found floating lanterns and fireworks hidden in trees at four points on the beach. Those items were seized but we didn’t find their owners. However, we are searching for them.”

Siwat went on to say that he would like to “publicly admonish” the culprits. He noted that floating lanterns and fireworks are prohibited at the beach, and offenders will be fined up to 60,000 baht, imprisoned for three years, or both.

Recently, Thai authorities have been angry about people flying lanterns in places where they’re not supposed to. Last month, government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek said that flying a lantern near an airport in Thailand is a very serious criminal offence carrying the harshest penalties, even the death penalty.

The spokesperson gave the stern warning at a press conference while thousands of people prepare to float paper lanterns into the sky to celebrate both Loy Krathong and Yi Peng festivals this evening.

Meanwhile, illegal fireworks in Thailand have injured people. During a Loy Krathong festival in the northeast Nakhon Phanom province last month, 12 people were injured by illegal fireworks.

The fireworks were prepared to light up at the end of the opening ceremony. However, the fireworks did not fly up to the sky due to some technical problems and scattered into the crowd injuring 12 residents and government officers standing nearby.

Time will tell if Thai authorities will ever manage to stop illegal lanterns and fireworks.

Phuket News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.