Phuket jet-ski problems ‘improving’
PHUKET: Phuket’s jet-ski problems are gradually being resolved, authorities told a consular meeting yesterday (November 24), though it will still take time to get all of the operators under control.
Friday 25 November 2011, 05:03PM
The Chief of Phuket Marine Office (PMO), Bhuripat Theerakulpisut, said there are currently 289 jet-skis on the island. Seventy of them are not registered.
The PMO has made some effort to try and control jet-ski numbers, creating a zoning system to restrict each jet-ski operator to one beach in a bid to reduce conflict.
Improving their standards of operation, however, has been more challenging. Every new jet-ski is required to apply for first-class insurance when they are first registered.
With almost a quarter of Phuket’s jet-skis not registered, though, this is difficult to enforce.
The PMO have consistently summoned leaders of jet-ski operators based in each area to discuss problems with them, and in particular urge them to change their behaviour to help improve their reputation.
“We are asking for their cooperation, not forcing them,” Mr Bhuripat said. “[But] there are some of them that have been reluctant to join the system.”
Kathu police have also set up a team of intermediaries to help tourists involved in compensation disputes with jet-ski operators.
The team is focused on calming down tourists and jet-ski operators, and making sure an amicable agreement is reached.
So far this year, the team have successfully intervened in 40 cases related to jet-ski scams.
Mr Bhuripat said the jet-ski situation had improved slightly this year, with less complaints than usual being lodged with authorities.
The foreign consuls had called on authorities to speed up efforts to find a solution to the problem at their previous meeting on August 31.