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Phuket parasail operators ‘asked’ to impose ban, face full safety review

PHUKET: The Governor of Phuket today called on parasail operators in Phuket to refrain from providing parasail rides at Phuket beaches until they all attend a mandatory safety review on Monday (July 17).


Tanyaluk Sakoot

Friday 14 July 2017, 06:41PM

“We really do not have authority by law to enforce a ban, but we have asked that we do this together,” Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong told The Phuket News after a meeting of relevant officials and more than 20 parasail operators at a meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall today (July 14).

“I want them to learn how to safely provide such services by undergoing training by Royal Army Region 4 on Monday,” he said.

The meeting today was called so that parasail operators and officials could explain firsthand what caused the death of 70-year-old Australian tourist Roger Hussey in a fall at Kata Beach on Wednesday (July 12).

Mr Hussey plunged some 70 metres into the water below at Kata Beach after his harness somehow became unclipped from the parasail suspension lines.

The parasail rider, Rungroj Rakcheep, and the speedboat owner and driver, Montiean Jandang, were both charged with recklessness causing death over the incident. (See story here.)

Gov Norraphat today heard pleas from one operator that such a fatal accident had never before happened at Kata Beach, but others claimed that some operators do not use “standard” equipment and were not trained properly.

After hearing the operators explanations, Gov Norraphat called all parasail operators to present themselves at the Karon Municipality offices on Monday (July 17) for a full safety review and training.

“All operators must check the boats used for towing parasails. Also, all operators must choose one leader to be responsible for responding in case of such incidents,” he said.

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All parasail operators will undergo mandatory safety training provided by “experienced officials or experts from Royal Thai Army Region 4”, Gov Norraphat explained.

“For this, I want everyone to come,” he said.

Also, Gov Norraphat is to receive a list naming all parasail operators in Phuket. “Starting with those operating at Kata and Karon,” he added.

Gov Norraphat also called for health certificates to be presented by people wanting to take parsail rides to prove they were fit to do so.

“Tourists should have their own health certificates to confirm their health before taking a parasail ride or any extreme activity. We will talk about this again on Monday,” Gov Norraphat said.

If the full range of issues and training could not be completed on Monday, the seessions are to continue on Tuesday, he added.

“We are very serious about this issue,” Gov Norraphat said.

“A person has died. I am sorry for this. It must not happen again. There cannot be a second time,” the Governor noted.



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Discover Thainess | 17 July 2017 - 02:01:04

@CJ is quite correct, and @Simon01 has the perfect solution. Patong would seem to be the perfect place to stick all the skis and parasales and all that associated nonsense so the rest of Phuket's beaches can return to (relative) tranquility. As for the governor saying that no one has authority to ban them that seems an amazing comment! Although I guess it could be impossible to ban an illegal business anyway. Hey, Mr Governor, I have a suggestion for you. The trucks and trailers that bring them to the beach each day are all unlicensed - here's a thought, they all come down one of two roads in patong, how about a checkpoint in the morning and stop them all arriving at the beach! There are plenty of police around later in the day relieving people of 200 baht for no licenses, how about they start earlier in the day and take these illegal vehicles off the road. That will stop the boats operating. Any reason why you can't .....?

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Su Yu2 | 15 July 2017 - 23:18:21

You're correct CJ, at the risk of sounding crass it'll never get off the ground.

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Nasa12 | 15 July 2017 - 18:00:57

Gov Norraphat I think you ned to fine another work very fast. You under stand 0 off what happened on the Beaches in Phuket.

This it`s sic from you and thinking about this, This show you are NOT the right man in the Gov Office : “Tourists should have their own health certificates to confirm their health before taking a parasail ride or any extreme activity. We will talk about this again on Monday,” Gov Norraphat said.

You are a big Shame fore Phuket, You and only you can Baan Jet-Ski and Parasailing over phuket next week no more speaking now Gov Norraphat.

And I hope the Consulate from many Country here in Phuket start to wright soon.

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CaptainJack69 | 15 July 2017 - 13:39:54

Fun idea to require medical certificates. Does anyone believe a medical certificate would have saved this poor gentleman? Perhaps as a small parachute? Maybe they should print them on really big pieces of paper? At least then they might have some potential use.

There's already a big industry in (lets say 'dubious') medical certificates here. This idea would only serve to line the pockets of the 'clinics' providing them and of the motorbike taxi's escorting the punters there and back.

Not that it matters. There's no way this little gem will ever be enforced, not on the beaches anyway.

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CaptainJack69 | 15 July 2017 - 13:30:51

Interesting pictures. In one a lady holds up a locking carabiner clip with a secure screw locking system. That's a very secure device trusted by climbers etc. all over the world.

In another pic the same lady holds up some flimsy looking spring loaded hook device attached to a length of webbing strap. Such a device can easily release just by shifting the direction of the load it carries. You don't even need to squeeze it.

I wonder which of these devices is responsible for this tragedy...

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Nasa12 | 15 July 2017 - 10:14:55

Mr Col Santi Sakuntanark you have one more dead tourists on your back, how many more kilo dead meat you ned to close this madness in Phuket whit Jet- Ski and Parasailing Mr Col Santi Sakuntanark ?.

I remember you say in the News “If jet-ski operators do not follow our request and cause problems they will not be on the beach anymore,” Mr Surat added.

So we waiting you clean the beaches today and baan all jet-Ski and Parasailing in all Phuket. And I hope the familie to this man make a clame about you Mr Col Santi Sakuntanarkand and thisJet-Ski and Parasailing owner "Maybe Policeman it`s the owner" and take you all to the Court.

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Belzybob | 15 July 2017 - 06:15:26

Great comment here, the suggestion will effectively put them out of business or will it just create a sideline in bogus medical certificates?

“Tourists should have their own health certificates to confirm their health before taking a parasail ride or any extreme activity. We will talk about this again on Monday,” Gov Norraphat said.

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Rorri | 14 July 2017 - 19:47:33

I have a problem understanding the governors psyche.
1. can't ban, even temporarily, something dangerous, until ALL safety measures are undertaken.
2. how do they inform tourists they need a health clearance, and I'm sure that will be forgotten quickly.
3. I'm sure the, not so royal, Royal Thai Army Region 4 know s all about parasailing..... NOT!!!.
4, "All operators must check the boats used for towing parasails" yep, guess we can see a problem with that, checking their own boats.

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simon01 | 14 July 2017 - 19:09:34

The reason for the death is they ALL have very poor safety standards and do not know what they are doing. Plus looking at the harness clips look very sub standard and seems to have no locking system to keep the clips closed.
  The equipment is old, worn, damaged and the staff have no real training. There is not one that will pass an inspection in any other country. There should never be a man climbing in the rigging at all. They should never be landing on a crowded beach but well away from boats and jet skis in the sea. This way they dont crash into tress or fall onto the beach. The boat drivers have no skippers license either. The entire set up is suicidal from the word go. The only safe way is to remove them from all beaches. The set up one beach for parasailing and jet skis. Then there is not swimmers and no other activity there. Then all equipment can be inspected everyday and all can be monitored. There can be repair shops for boats and jet skis. Fuel station too. Full time rescue boats out on the water and a medical center with trained staff. This way the rest of Phukets beaches are clean and safe. All jet ski and Parasailing can be closely watched. The roads will not be clogged up with jet skis and boats every evening. Plus the tour / travel agents / hotels can all sell safe jet ski and Parasailing tours. Beaches safe, tourists safe, less hassle everyday for the boat and jet ski rentals as everything they need is all on site and dont need to bring everything back and forth everyday. Plus agents to sell for them so they dont need to wander up and down looking for customers each day. Plus any accident or problem with anything will all be on CCTV and easy for police just to close the center down rather than wander over all the beaches looking for people and monitor all the beaches. this saves them man hours too. 

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