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Army takes on Phuket jet-ski operators for encroaching on the beaches

PHUKET: Soldiers in Phuket were dispatched to Patong, Kata and Karon this week to ramp up efforts to get jet-ski operators to abide by the beach rules and no longer occupy beach sands during the day, when the beaches are to be left clear for use by tourists.

tourism, military, patong,


The Phuket News

Saturday 1 July 2017, 09:00AM


Jet-ski operators have been warned to remove their vehicles from the beaches – or else jeopardise having jet-skis evicted from all beaches in Phuket. Photo: Supplied
Jet-ski operators have been warned to remove their vehicles from the beaches – or else jeopardise having jet-skis evicted from all beaches in Phuket. Photo: Supplied

Following orders from Col Santi Sakuntanark, Commander of the 25th Infantry Regiment and the highest-ranking army officer stationed in Phuket, soldiers on Tuesday (June 27) found four operators at Kata Beach with their jet-ski towing vehicles on the sand.

“We urged officers from Karon Municipality Law Enforcement division to fine them and teach them how to keep their operations neat,” Col Santi said.

“This is not my duty, but I have to force those officials to do their job,” he told The Phuket News on Wednesday (June 28).

The Phuket News has yet to confirm how much the operators were fined.

Of note, in the aftermath of the jet-ski accident off Kata Beach earlier this year that killed Australian tourist Emily Jayne Collie, 20 – for which her boyfriend Thomas Keating was charged with reckless driving causing death – soldiers raided the jet-ski operators at Kata Beach and found six of them were renting out jet-skis without the insurance required by law.(See story here.)

Meanwhile at Patong Beach this week, soldiers were lighter on their enforcement.

“The jet-skis on Patong Beach are allowed to be parked on the sand temporarily. that is only during the southwest monsoon season (May-October). We are allowing them to park their jet-skis at some points on Patong Beach. Don’t worry, this is not permanent,” Col Santi said.

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“But if you see jet-ski operators’ vehicles parked in any public areas, such as the beach, please let me know (Tel: 081-6425635),” he said.

The sorties by soldiers onto Phuket beaches this week follows the Phuket Marine Office issuing a formal warning to all jet-ski operators not to occupy beach areas beyond the terms laid out in the “10% beach management policy” – or else face possible eviction from the sands at all Phuket beaches.

The Phuket Marine Office issued a written warning to the Phuket Jet-ski Association last Friday (June 23) stating that jet-ski operators specifically at Kata Beach are no longer to park vehicles, both unpowered and powered, used to transport jet-skis to and from the beach parked on public land.

The warning states that should the jet-ski operators fail to adhere to the warning, a further letter will be sent to the Phuket Provincial Office who will then decide whether jet-skis should be removed from the beach.

Asked whether the jet-skis operator’s licences would be revoked should the warning be ignored, Mr Surat said, “I do not have the authority to revoke jet-ski licences, but I can report the issue to Phuket Provincial Office.

“The action of the Kata Beach jet-ski operators will affect all members of the Phuket Jet-ski Association,” he said.

“If jet-ski operators do not follow our request and cause problems they will not be on the beach anymore,” Mr Surat added. (See story here.)

 

 

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stegee | 02 July 2017 - 21:36:57

@ cs & cj >> the confusion comes from the fact that some parts of this article are cut and pasted from the linked article which verifies that k. surat is the director of the phuket marine office...

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Christy Sweet | 02 July 2017 - 15:03:02

Cap't Jack, Col Santi did not make that declaration regarding not having authority, a Mr Surat did. But who is Mr Surat? The article does not elaborate.

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fairly liquid | 01 July 2017 - 20:12:14

Ha Ha - Have been here for almost 16 years and almost every year I have read how the Jet Skis will be brought under control. In reality, little to nothing ever happens, I wonder why? Perhaps there's a lots of money being made from Jet Skis in Phuket.

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Discover Thainess | 01 July 2017 - 15:42:53

@CptnJack, if he gets stuck holding the parcel when the music stops he won't be allowed to sit down :-)

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CaptainJack69 | 01 July 2017 - 12:29:45

"soldiers raided the jet-ski operators at Kata Beach and found six of them were renting out jet-skis without insurance". As a point of interest, exactly how many jet-ski operators are there on Kata Beach? It can't be many more than 6. So we're basically talking about all of them?

"The jet-skis on Patong Beach are allowed to be parked on the sand temporarily". WHY? Without consistency of enforcement there's no chance of anyone ever obeying the law.

"I do not have the authority to revoke jet-ski licences" The army is running the country and you are the highest ranking army officer on Phuket. You have the "authority" (and duty) to do what-ever it takes to enforce the law and to force recalcitrant government officers to do their jobs.


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marcher | 01 July 2017 - 10:27:19

So the police cannot enforce the law, it needs the army. May be the only country in the world where this is the duty of soldiers. So what use are all these new tanks?

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Discover Thainess | 01 July 2017 - 09:25:00

And unlike last time we did this ..... this time we REALLY mean it ...... if you don't behave we are going to write a letter !!!! 

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