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Bombs Away: Dangerous refuelling of speedboats directly from Phuket beaches comes under fire

Bombs Away: Dangerous refuelling of speedboats directly from Phuket beaches comes under fire

PHUKET: Pickup trucks and even song­thaew buses fully loaded with drums of fuel being pumped into speedboats at Rawai Beach will cease this coming week as the Phuket office of the Ministry of Energy starts enforcing public safety laws banning the dangerous practice.

By Tanyaluk Sakoot

Saturday 2 June 2018, 09:00AM

After being informed of the beachfront refuelling by The Phuket News three weeks ago, Rawai Mayor Aroon Solos at first said that he was aware of the practice, especially as Rawai Beach is literally right out the front door of the Rawai Municipality offices.

But only this past week did Mayor Aroon concede that it was dangerous and that he had instructed his officers to take steps to ensure the beach refuelling stops.

However, he noted, “Rawai Municipality is limited in the regulations that we are empowered to enforce, so the Phuket Energy Office has been notified and will respond and take action on this.

“It is their direct responsibility, and I will support them in doing their job,” he added.

Pannee Raknai, Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) and Chief of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation division at Rawai Municipality (DDPM-Rawai), was clear in her understanding of the situation.

“This (refuelling) cannot be done in a public area. It is dangerous for people living near there and may result in damage to the environment,” she said.

“We reported this to the Phuket Energy Office on May 21. We are waiting for their reply, as we do not have the direct authority to stop people doing this,” Ms Pannee added.

“In this respect, we are only empowered to enforce laws concerning any pollution, so if there were any spillage or other form of polluting on the beach, we could call in the police and have the culprits fined up to B10,000 – but we are powerless to prevent people from refuelling their boats directly from the beach,” she explained.

To this, Wirot Damkong, Chief of the Phuket office of the Ministry of Energy, told The Phuket News on Wednesday (May 30) that his office will take action as soon as this coming week.

“I received a formal request from Rawai Municipality about this on Friday (May 25). This behaviour is illegal under the Fuel Oils Control Act,” Mr Wirot said.

“We will call in everyone involved – the workers actually doing the refuelling, speedboat captains and representatives of the companies involved – to a meeting at Rawai Municipality next week to warn them that they can no longer do this.

“If they continue to break the law, we will fine them,” Mr Wirot warned, though he declined to specify which sections of the Act the practice breaches or what penalty repeat offenders would face.

However, he added, “It (beach refuelling) is clearly illegal under the Act. For example, any persons operating a refuelling operation or just commercially transporting fuels must have a permit to do so,” he added.

On this point Phuket Marine Office Chief Surat Sirisaiyat declined to answer any questions or comment on the issue.

Looking forward, Mr Wirot noted, “Our next step is to draw up plans to create a safe place in the area where these boats can be refuelled. It must to be a controlled area and reduce the exposure of risk to others.

“We also know that Rawai is not the only place in Phuket where this happens. We know this also happens in Cherng Talay,” Mr Wirot pointed out.

“We will bring the same attention to this at other beaches in Phuket after we have dealt with the situation in Rawai,” he said.

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zib | 04 June 2018 - 15:36:50

Maybe they should also look at the chinese restaurant opposite these speedboats that every day empties their kitchen water into the ocean.

Wilma | 04 June 2018 - 15:05:16

Its have been going on for years. 
But in Chalong Bay they have a refueling station safe and away, why dont the speed boats using that ??????
In Rawai there is also a bridge long out in the water, why does this not getting used for safe refueling ????

vegasbaby | 02 June 2018 - 18:51:31

Perfect solution to clean up the raw sewage flowing into the sea daily...simply mix in petrol and set it ablaze.  It could be sold to tourists as a Thai fire show as they queue to board speed boats for pee pee island.

malczx7r | 02 June 2018 - 17:56:46

"as the Phuket office of the Ministry of Energy starts enforcing public safety laws banning the dangerous practice."
Really, someone is going to enforce the law, can someone post a photo so we can actually see someone doing their job for once! haha

malczx7r | 02 June 2018 - 17:53:07

They've been doing that in Chalong for years.  What's funny to see is some of the guys sat nearby smoking whilst their friend is on the back of the truck with the hose, just wait till the eventual explosion occurs, luckily i'm no longer there.

Nasa12 | 02 June 2018 - 17:37:15

If the be a accident in Chalong bay when 400 +++ tourist be damaged and burned first then, something want happens and then it's too late.

Kurt | 02 June 2018 - 14:17:04

Thai Officials know about this illegal dangerous practise
All are able to 'parrot' laws and rules concerning
With laws and rules in their hands they all found a escapeway to fingerpoint to other agencies as they not want to enforce the laws and rules as all refuelers are their brown envelop 'friends'
No need to spell out that it is all about corruption that makes powerless.

Confused Kevin | 02 June 2018 - 13:22:24

The Aopo beachfront has become a major tourest departure point.
Everyday tourists boats and jet skies are refueled in Aopo can someone check this  out. 

BenPendejo | 02 June 2018 - 12:40:31

A total of 6 government agencies involved, each stating that there is nothing they can do and pointing a finger at a different agency. They all knew it was illegal and unsafe, yet none of them did anything about it, just left it up to the idiot boat drivers and anyone that wants to put drums of fuel in his truck (or bus). None of them have any plans in place, just ignoring existing laws.

Nasa12 | 02 June 2018 - 12:23:56

This funny :) I send about 20 Picture to PN for about 2 years ago, but Chalong are very very bad smell of gasoline in the morning and afternoon.

Asterix | 02 June 2018 - 10:57:49

Chalong Bay Marina is worse than Rawai Beach where dozens of speed boats are refueling with long hoses each speed boat with hundreds of liter of flammable and volatile gasoline.
PTT petrol station, on Chalong Pier, is the most dangerous pier to refuel as large tour boats are side by side with speed boats which should be separated to avoid disaster with dangerous gasoline and electricity on boats.

Sir Burr | 02 June 2018 - 09:55:59

..and Chalong Bay?

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