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Similan National Park to close for five months

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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The Department of National Parks (DNP) has announced that the Similan Islands in Phang Nga will be temporary closed from May 16 for five months.

Today (May 4) there are still many tourists, both Thai and foreigners especially Chinese, at the Similan Islands. Most tourists want to enjoy the beach before the island will be closed in a few weeks.

The Head of Mu Ko Similan National Park Ruamsin Manajongprasert says, “The DNP is preparing to close many marine national parks along the Andaman coast. During this period nature can recover itself and have a break from the onslaught of tourism.”

“It is getting into the monsoon period which will have strong wind and waves. We also want to protect tourists from accidents caused by the strong waves.”

“After the islands are closed, the national park officers will patrol the area in order to prevent any tourists entering the national park area.”

“In addition, Patrol boats will be used to check for illegal fishing in the national park areas especially around Koh Bon which is a small island between Koh Similan and Koh Ta Chai.”

“During the monsoon period we usually find many fishing boats are illegally fishing in the area.”

The Mu Ko Similan National Park officials close the islands routinely each year during the monsoon period.

 

- 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 man arrested with 20,000 methamphetamine pills

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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A man has been arrested with methamphetamine pills, crystal methamphetamine, a gun and ammunition.

A team of the Border Patrol Police last week arrested 22 year old Tanaset ‘Fluk’ Kraimaneelert  from Songkhla at a housing estate in Rassada. Police seized 1.06 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 20,000 methamphetamine pills, a gun and 21 bullets.

Tanaset was taken to the Phuket City Police Station and been charged with possession of Category 1 drugs with intent to sell and illegal possession of firearm and ammunition.

The arrest of Tanaset came after police first arrested 24 year old woman Wichada Jamnongjit who was caught with methamphetamine pills. Wichada told police that she bought the drugs from a man named only as ‘Fluk’. Apparently Fluk comes to her house every day.

Police arrested Fluk at the housing estate in Rassada. Tanaset (Fluk) told police he stores the drugs at a house in Koh Kaew. Tanaset told police that he bought the drugs from Weerayut ‘Mo’ Kutcharat. He claimed the gun and bullets belonged to him.

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Phuket

Every Phuket tour boat is being checked

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Deputy Commander of the Tourist Police Bureau, Maj Gen Surachet Hakparn, with the help of the Marine Department, are checking about 400 tour boats in Phuket. Any boat found not fully compliant to leave port with all its safety equipment in working order, will remain at port.

Maj Gen Surachet says, “All about 300 to 400 tour boats in Phuket are being checked. Boats must be fixed if they are found with incomplete safety equipment or are unsafely heading to sea in any way. We have to get back tourist confidence when they are travelling in Phuket.”

“If there is any boat that leaves port and then later capsizes, boat inspectors will have to take responsibility too.”

“In addition we’re also checking for any encroachment in Phuket as well as the safety and registration of other tour buses and taxis. These are also part of Phuket’s tourism business. ”

“I can confirm that any government officer who ignores land encroachment, or allows unsafe boats to leave port, will face legal action.”

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Chiang Rai

“They’ll grow up to work for country’s benefit” – Dr Pak

The Thaiger & The Nation

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“I’m confident that the Mu Pa boys will grow up to be excellent citizens of the country and work for the benefits of the country’s future and reputation,” wrote Dr Pak Loharnchun in a Facebook post. The Army doctor played a leading role in helping the boys.

The doctor also posted photos of himself giving the boys goodbye hugs in Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital where they received medical care after being rescued.

Pak praised assistant coach Ekkapol Chantawong for having “a good heart” and having made sacrifices to help and comfort the boys during their entrapment.

The doctor, who has multiple certifications including for SEAL operations, joined the footballers in the cave after they were discovered by British divers on July 2, and remained with them until the last of them were extracted on July 10.

Pak says the innocence and optimism of the boys impressed him, as did their remaining in high spirits during the time of crisis.

“I was told that after they were trapped inside the cave … every day they used pieces of rock to dig to find a way out despite having no food. The hole they dug was quite deep, about five metres.”

They were also disciplined, collecting their rubbish and placing it in a black bag, he wrote.

They also listened to Ekkapol and followed his instructions, the doctor wrote. He told them not to pick up things or remove anything from the cave.

25 year old Ekkapol, or ‘Ake’, was the eldest of those rescued, with the rest aged 11 to 16.

“I secretly noticed since day one that the coach would make sure that the boys ate first and he usually gave his portion to the boys,” the doctor said.

“I’m confident of the coach’s excellent care of the boys before they were located, as their mental and physical conditions were way better than I had expected,” Pak said.

Some netizens have criticised Ekkapol for leading the boys into the cave where they became trapped on June 23 when the water quickly rose after flash floods. However many others have given him their moral support, while encouraging him not to blame himself

Pak and other SEALs were discharged on Sunday while the boys were scheduled to be discharged on Thursday.

Get out your handkerchiefs…

ORIGINAL POST: The Nation

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