Phuket boosts marine safety measures for holiday tourist surge

Picture courtesy of PR Phuket.

Safety measures have significantly increased at the major piers and marinas in Phuket, a recent report from the Phuket office of the Department of Public Relations of Thailand (PR Phuket) revealed. These heightened security measures come in anticipation of a massive influx of tourists to the island, expected to occur during the extended holidays from July 28 through August 2.

As estimates suggest, over 234,000 visitors – both Thai locals and foreign nationals – are expected to be drawn to Phuket during the long holiday period. Tourism hubs such as Phuket Old Town, Patong Beach, Kata Beach, and Karon Beach, as well as minor isles off the coast of Phuket, are expected to be teeming with visitors.

The public relations department report, issued yesterday, also observed the wide variety of tourists that Phuket is attracting. These include locals as well as international visitors from Russia, India, China, Kazakhstan and even neighbouring countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Underscoring the elevated safety measures in marine locations, the Southwestern Meteorological Centre, Phuket Met, issued a weather warning effective for the remaining duration of the holidays – July 30 through August 2. The weather forecast predicts exceptional wave heights in the Andaman Sea, with waves expected to surpass three metres, particularly in thunderstorm-hit areas. Given these inclement conditions, smaller boats are urged to remain ashore, reported The Phuket News.

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Natchaphong Pranit, the Head of the Phuket Marine Office, took extra precautions, personally overseeing inspections of vessels at popular piers. This included ensuring the functionality of radios, preparedness of safety equipment onboard, and adherence to stricter navigation protocols such as deploying AIS tracking at sea.

No reference was made to compulsory sobriety for those whilst piloting their vessels. This is despite the recent marine accident which caused injuries to over 30 people back in May, where the captain was confirmed to have been under the influence of illicit drugs.

Reiterating the weather warning outlined by the Phuket Met, the PR Phuket report particularly emphasises that smaller boats with a length of less than ten metres should remain on land during the predicted rough weather which is forecasted to last until August 2.

The report also reminded people that the Marine Office Hotline 1199 is a 24-hour service that can be used as a resource for reporting marine incidents. This helpline isn’t reserved only for maritime staff, but can also be called by members of the public, who may need to report concerns like people lost at sea, for instance.

Since the start of the extended holidays, no significant incidents have been reported in marine transport. Other non-related marine incidents have included a drowning at Freedom Beach involving a 22 year old man from Senegal who ventured into the sea despite red flags. The man’s body was located this morning.

The Director of the Phuket office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT Phuket) predicted the long holiday would welcome over 234,000 people to the island of Phuket and generate around 2.2 billion baht in tourism revenues. With the island ready to welcome holidaymakers, 1,890 hotels are currently operational, offering a total of 101,556 rooms. Hotel occupancy is estimated at around 65.87%, and visitors are anticipated to spend, on average, 1.7 days on the island.

Phuket NewsTourism News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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