PHOTOS: Phuket Lifeguard Service
A commemoration ceremony has been held for Prathaiyuth Chuayuan, a local Phuketian who helped drive Phuket’s first beach lifeguard services. He passed away on Friday morning after a heart attack.
He first experienced chest pains whilst delivering his daughter to school in Phuket Town on Friday morning, drove himself immediately to the Vachira Hospital nearby but succumbed to cardiac arrest around 9am.
He was 57 years old.
He worked with Australian lifesavers to help train local lifeguards and improve the skills of the Phuket’s beach enthusiasts, and finally sought international accreditation for the growing body of competent Phuket lifeguards.
The Phuket Lifeguards Service, founded and run by Prathaiyuth and his wife Witanya, saved innumerable lives each year whilst battling Provincial Hall and local government for increased funding in annual contract negotiations.
Daren Jenner, a FOT (Friend of The Thaiger) and local safety officer for the International Surf Lifesaving Association, sent a message to us expressing his deepest condolences to Prathaiyuth’s wife, family and friends.
“I had many good conversations with him over the years. He was a good-hearted man who did his best in difficult and changing circumstances. A very big loss for Phuket and the lifesaving community here. ISLA sends our deepest respect for his long commitment to ocean safety in SE Asia.”
“Phuket needs a world class exhibition and convention centre”
“Two key developments we are tracking is Central Festivals next phase of expansion and Proud Groups Andamanda project that both have significant concerence, meeting and incentive space.”
Plans to promote Phuket as a world-class MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, exhibitions) location are being obstructed by many impediments – inefficient town planning, poor transport systems and poor availability of land in tourist locations.
Dusida Worrachaddejchai writes that Phuket’s deputy governor says the province has a blueprint to build an exhibition and convention hall to host international events with a capacity up to 5,000. But he said that town planning rules forbid building a hall larger than 6,000 square metres with a hight greater than 23 metres.
The prohibition for a proper convention hall by town planning appears to be one of the few projects impeded by lax town planning laws.
The project has been talked about for decades with Phuket’s potential as an active MICE venue being hampered by the lack of facilities, principally a large convention and exhibition centre.
If some provisions of the current town planning act for Phuket can be amended, the likely destination for a convention centre would be Thalang district. The deputy governor says he hopes it can be built in a few years and make Phuket able to bid for international events and expos.
But Thalang, although within 15 minutes of the Phuket International Airport, has little offer convention and exhibition delegates with most of the beaches and tourist infrastructure on the island’s southern coastal areas (Patong, Kata, Karon).
C9hotelworks’ Bill Barnett says proper MICE facilities have been a long time coming for Phuket.
“Phuket hotel developers are finally seeing the signifigance of the MICE trade. Two key developments we are tracking is Central Festivals next phase of expansion and Proud Groups Andamanda project that both have significant concerence, meeting and incentive space. TCEB ae active in the working on Phuket as a MICE destination so we see the future direction as positive, at last.”
Meanwhile the Thai government has foreshadowed that five Thai cities will be earmarked as MICE locations – Phuket, along with Chiang Mai, Khon Kaen, Pattaya and Bangkok. The deptuty governor sprouted Phuket’s existing MICE credentials – 600 hotels offering 40,000 guest rooms, 220 convention rooms, 615 meeting rooms, 14 piers and four private marinas. But these facilities are spread all over the island with poor access and almost no public transportation.
In the past the private sector – primarily Central Group and Jungceylon – have indicated their interest to build a convention hall in the Patong area. But town planning issues and the ever-dwindling available land in the seaside city have shelved any progress.
Southern beach locations, with excellent hotels, shopping and beaches – Karon and Kata – have also been flagged as potential locations but access, especially from the airport, remains poor. Travel times to the southern beaches from the airport is at least an hour and involves trips across the notorious hills roads at either Patong or Kata.
Progress on the Patong Tunnel has also stalled with successive governments unable to progress the project.
The government should improve mass transport from the airport to Patong and other western coast districts in Phuket, namely Karon, to facilitate large groups such as Mice travellers that require more than buses and vans, Ms Chalermluck said.
Last year, more than 2 million visitors arrived in Phuket for MICE events, generating 19.5 billion baht in income. But MICE industry proponents say that number could be easily tripled with a proper convention and exhibition venue.Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Wan Yubamrung’s subordinate arrested for attempted murder in Patong
PHOTO: Manager Online
Last night (September 12), 32 year old Thanpawat Supchotiwanich, a subordinate of Thai Pheu Thai party politician Wan Yubamrung, was arrested in front of his house in Soi Ekkachai 135, in Patong, acting on a warrant issued back in 2010 after he shot a business peer over an undisclosed conflict.
Thanpawat is also known as ‘Tong Deksuegaeng’ and back in 2010, he and a friend shot Nattasak Mongkhonnitipat while he was sitting behind a motorcycle on Bangwat Canal road in Patong, causing the man to be critically injured.
Following the case, Phuket provincial court handed down a 12 years sentence to each of the 2 offenders, including Thanpawat. However, the appeal court decided to dismiss the case and allow the 2 men to be bailed.
The victim filed a petition to the Supreme Court to overrule the appeal. On the day of the sentence, Thanpawat fled. After fleeing, he changed his name from Kanit Suesuan to his present name and became a strong follower of Wan Yubamrung, who is Bangkok MP from Pheu Thai Party and Chalerm Yubamrung’s son.
Wan Yubamrung also visited him at the prison and posted a picture together on Wan’s Facebook to “cheer him up”.
SOURCE: Newshawk PhuketKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Jet-ski collision injures two Chinese tourists in Patong
Two Chinese tourists have been injured in a jet-ski collision in Patong yesterday, the Phuket News reports.
Maj Teerasak Boonsaeng from Patong Police was notified of the accident shortly before 4.00pm yesterday, with both men taken to Patong hospital for treatment.
The men, named as 28 year old Hu Meng and 26 year old Yang Ming, had rented jet-skis from opposite ends of the beach and it’s understood that compensation for the damage to the jet-skis has yet to be agreed.
Both men escaped serious injury. Mr Hu received treatment for a broken leg and after being diagnosed with a minor back injury, Mr Yang was discharged from hospital.
The Phuket News reports that both men are from Hubei, a landlocked province in central China.
SOURCE: The Phuket NewsKeep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
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