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Thai Army calls for safer Phuket parasail equipment

PHUKET: Parasail operators at Kata and Karon beaches will continue their self-imposed ban until they have cleared a full safety review and training, while officials have ordered all parasail operators to use “lockable clips” to hold people in the harnesses while up to 100 metres in the air.

tourism, accidents, death, military, marine,


Tanyaluk Sakoot

Monday 17 July 2017, 04:44PM


The news came at the Karon Municipality Office today (July 17), where parasail operators began their mandatory safety review and training as ordered by Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong on Friday (July 14). (See story here.)

The safety review was ordered in after death of 70-year-old Australian tourist Roger Hussey in a fall at Kata Beach last Wednesday (July 12) made international headlines.

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 reiterated that the “ban” at Kata and Karon was elective on the part of the parasail operators.

“I don’t think they will be banned, they just have to follow the safety rules. We have only ‘asked’ them to not provide rides for now,” Governor Norraphat told The Phuket News.

Winai Chitchiew, who serves as Kamnan (Subdistrict Headman) for Kata-Karon and today represented the local parasail operators, noted the the self-imposed ban may last as long as three weeks.

“Any safety guidelines drawn up as the result of this review and training will be handed down to the Kata and Karon parasail operators to observe,” Mr Winai assured.

“I will write up the rules and standards and submit them to the Army as quickly as possible so they can ratify them to become regulations,” he explained.

“All parasail operators at Kata and Karon must carry out full checks of their equipment, and upgrade them where necessary. Also, the Army must give their approval. This may take up to three weeks. During that time the local operators have agreed not to provide any parasail rides,” he added.

C and C Marine

Leading the safety checks of equipment today was Maj Prasert Saythongtae, Chief of Special Warfare at Sichon Camp, Royal Army Region 4 in Nakhon Sri Thammarat.

Maj Prasert made it clear that parasail operators should use harness clips that include cloth fasteners that prevent clips from opening simply by pressing on the latches.

To illustrate his point, he inspected the harness Mr Hussey was wearing when he fell some 70m into the water at Kata beach last Wednesday. He showed how the clips on that harness could be opened simply by pressing on them.

Maj Prasert also pointed out that all equipment used to provide parasail rides must first be approved for use, and that all equipment must be replaced at the earliest signs of wear.

This afternoon, parasail operators at all major Phuket beaches were to present to officials from the Phuket Marine Office a full list of all the boats used for providing parasail services.

The list of operators to be included are those working at Patong, Kata, Karon, Kamala, Nai Thon, Bang Tao beaches and those working at any locations within Rawai subdistrict, which includes Coral Island and the two Racha islands to the south of Phuket.

Asked what other checks would be carried out by the Phuket Marine Office, Phuket Marine Chief Surat Sirisaiyad declined to comment.

“Next, the experts from Royal Army Region 4 will report to me on the safety checks they have conducted; that will take time,” Governor Norraphat told The Phuket News.

Asked whether any deadline had been set to complete all the checks, Governor Norraphat said, “We can’t confirm yet. All parasail equipment must be approved by Royal Thai Army Region 4, but because it will take time to check all the equipment, to buy new equipment and check the boats, we have to be careful and have to be effective in working together.”

“Also, we have yet to draft a standard health form for customers wanting to take a parasail ride. We must talk about that further,” he added.

 

 

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Christy Sweet | 18 July 2017 - 16:06:52

Suave, agree completely with your assessment. And IMO from the video, this was a suicide and charging the  operators is wrong. 

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RIC23 | 18 July 2017 - 13:02:11

Ha ! self imposed ban I was inspecting a property this morning & saw someone parasailing down on Karon Beach

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CaptainJack69 | 18 July 2017 - 12:09:20

So now it's a "health form" and not a medical certificate. OK, the medical check-up idea was rubbish, but a health form is nothing more than a disclaimer, a 'please don't sue me' form. It would simply legitimize the the lack of responsibility that's already so wide-spread.

Para-sailing, jet-ski's, taxi's. These are service industries catering to the general public. As such what's needed is free, fair, honest and un-corrupt oversight provided by independent third party watch-dogs.

In Thailand...

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suave | 18 July 2017 - 10:53:08

I have been a skydiver for many years, so I know a little about the equipment in the pictures. These type of clips, even without a lock, are very hard to release with weight on them, they are designed that way just in case the spring loaded part is depressed by accident.  One has to lift the weight off the clip while pressing in the spring loaded keeper and then unclip from the chute.  That would have to be done on both sides separately and would be impossible to do both at the same time by one person.  This gentleman must have done it himself thinking it would be a great joke.  I saw the video of the fall and there was no way the Thai guy could have done this in the time he was on the ride.  In the video I think I can see the rider trying to lift himself one side and then the other, then the Thai guy was trying to grab him.  But, this is just my opinion.  Locking pins, as used in skydiving on tandem rigs, would have made it harder to release himself, but still do able.  I had used the excact same clips on my private skydiving rig leg straps for years, never had a accidental release

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kangaloo | 18 July 2017 - 06:41:32

More lip service meaning nothing at all until there is another death.

“All para sail operators at Kata and Karon must carry out full checks of their equipment, and upgrade them where necessary."
Like asking the Fox if the chickens are going to be ok.

“I don’t think they will be banned, they just have to follow the safety rules. We have only ‘asked’ them to not provide rides for now,” Governor Norraphat told The Phuket News.

What a huge crock of.......

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Su Yu2 | 18 July 2017 - 02:38:36

If they ask potential customers to sign a health form,  there will likely be wording stating that if an accident occurs the operators will not be held responsible. Not that they ever are of course.

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BenPendejo | 17 July 2017 - 21:55:52

Jeez...what a bumble-fest...and baloney with the ban...they were working on Saturday, despite horrible and windy weather...the operators just want money.  Let's look at all the players in this dog-and-pony show.  The Phuket Governor, the Subdistrict Headman for Kata-Karon, the Chief of Special Warfare (WTF), Royal Army Region 4, and the Phuket Marine Office.  And what is really typical, is the statement when asked what other checks would be carried out by the Phuket Marine Office, Phuket Marine Chief Surat Sirisaiyad "declined to comment".  Of all the people that should be at the forefront of this spectacle, the Marine Office is the only one with no comment.  He should be reassigned to the tuktuk patrol, where nobody expects anything to happen.

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Christy Sweet | 17 July 2017 - 17:46:33

Health form? Like not be suicidal...

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