The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search

Brown water, tar balls return to Phuket beaches

Brown water, tar balls return to Phuket beaches

PHUKET: Brown water has returned to Patong Beach and tar balls have been found washed up onto Mai Khao Beach, on Phuket’s northwestern coast, local residents have reported.

By The Phuket News

Thursday 14 October 2021, 03:59PM

The water at Patong Beach started changing colour about a week ago, one local resident told The Phuket News. “Been around a week and getting worse,” he said.

Photos and a video of the brown water churning onto the sand was provided, taken from the beach in front of the police box at the end of Bangla Rd.

Local officials have arrived to take test samples of the water, but have yet to announce any findings or report the water-quality phenomenon.

Meanwhile, local environmental group Sustainable Mai Khao has reported finding tar balls washed up onto Nai Yang Beach, where volunteers from the local group joined officers from Sirinath National Park staff in a beach clean-up in honour of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, Rama 9, yesterday (Oct 13).

Michelle explained that the gooey tar balls needed to be picked up with gloves, and advised anyone walking on the beach to keep an eye out for them to avoid stepping on one. Removing any tar balls from the beach of course would be ideal.

Tar balls were last cleaned up from Nai Yang Beach in June, with no clear confirmation of where that ocean spillage came from, despite some local residents blaming the ‘X-Press Pearl’ oil tanker inferno and sinking off Sri Lanka weeks earlier.

Dr Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong from the Phuket Marine Biological Centre (PMBC) in June explained that marine debris washing ashore was usual every year during the southwest monsoon.

“Phuket is likely to have some tar balls coming ashore,” he said.

“Some people link this phenomenon to Sri Lanka. However, we have checked the model for the tides and found that any oil spill [from the ‘X-Press Pearl’] should not affect the west coast of Thailand,” he said at the time.

“The oil in the sea will certainly affect the natural resources, as before this we found a whale coming ashore with oil covering its body,” Sirinath National Park Chief Pramote Kaewnam also noted.

The sperm whale, measuring 4.5 metres long with scratches along its tail and body, was rescued from Bang Tao Beach on June 17.

Dr Kongkiat on June 21 confirmed that the whale fully recovered and had been released.

Michelle noted that Sustainable Mai Khao  is holding another beach cleanup in Maikhao Moo 4 tomorrow (Oct 15). The group will meet at the Lad Chom Lay Market near Maikhao Palm Beach Resort at 8.45am. Parking for cars is available. (Click here, or see map below).

Interested participants can call Michelle at 081-893 6001 or email her at, or contact Sustainable Mai Khao through their Facebook page (click here).

Sustainable Mai Khao today was involved in cleanup efforts at Koh Khai Nok with 5 Star Marine and UWCT.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.


MikeZim | 15 October 2021 - 11:45:34

Last month, walking along Kata beach, I noticed big patches of yellow, foul smelling water near to the shore. It was not coming from offshore and it looked like it was from a hotel flushing its waste water pipes directly into the sea. I believe there is no water treatment facility in Patong so this is probably the cause of the dirty water coming there now. 


Have a news tip-off? Click here


Phuket community
When insurance skips a beat

I can agree riding a motorcycle is moderately safer here than elsewhere where drivers simply do not...(Read More)

Thailand to welcome visitors from 46 countries from Nov 1

I didn't move to a developing country to exploit people for sex nor do I visit bars of any ty...(Read More)

Govt talks up new, ‘more efficient’ Thailand Pass

So which is it? Enbassies and consulates no longer issue the docs- or they still do but might stop, ...(Read More)

Phuket marks 118 new COVID cases, six more deaths

As Israel has discovered efficacy falls eventually - real life clinical trials under way due to urge...(Read More)

When insurance skips a beat

Mauritius has worse accident rate than Thailand - I lived in South Africa for 25 years would never r...(Read More)

When insurance skips a beat

Hospitals run for profit with zero oversight, insurance companies run for profit with zero oversight...(Read More)

Thailand to welcome visitors from 46 countries from Nov 1

For those that seem concerned about infected farangs infecting the island -despite being vaccinated ...(Read More)

We can’t go back to our old ways, Phuket marine industry cautioned

The greedy speed boat operators don't care about the environment, they only care about money. As...(Read More)

We can’t go back to our old ways, Phuket marine industry cautioned

Fascinated@ probably an over generalisation raising awareness is a start we cant all sit on our hand...(Read More)

Phuket marks 118 new COVID cases, six more deaths

OR...Deaths starting occurring after lockdowns were lifted because there was too much reliance on ...(Read More)