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Diver hit by boat propeller north of Phuket, boat captain sought by police

PHUKET: Police are searching for a boat captain who is alleged to have hit a female diver with an engine propeller while she was taking part in a sea clean operation yesterday (Aug 31) at Koh Kai Nok in Phang Nga, north of Phuket.

accidents, crime, marine, police,

Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 1 September 2016, 11:07AM

Ms Patcharin Petlohlein, 31, is currently in Vachira Hospital Phuket where she will still need further treatment for her injuries. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub
Ms Patcharin Petlohlein, 31, is currently in Vachira Hospital Phuket where she will still need further treatment for her injuries. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

Officials from the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources were notified at 2pm yesterday that 31-year-old sea cleaning volunteer, Ms Patcharin Petlohlein, had been taken to Vachira Hospital Phuket after being slashed by a boat’s propeller during a sea cleaning dive near Koh Kai Nok.

Mr Noppadon, an official from the Phang Nga Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office, said that Ms Patcharin had already received treatment for injuries sustained to her shoulder, right hand and leg and was recovering in hospital. However, he also said that she would require further treatment.

“Ms Patcharin was one of many volunteers from the Phang Nga Provincial Natural Resources and Environment Office that had joined a sea clean activity in the area.

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“A group of volunteers who found Ms Patcharin with her injuries said that while she was picking up rubbish in the area a passing tour boat struck her with its engine propeller, the boat didn’t stop, it just kept on going,” Mr Noppadon explained.

“We have not yet been able to find out what boat was involved in this incident, but we believe it is a speedboat that brings tourists to Koh Khai Nok. We have reported the incident to Koh Yao police and they are investigating the matter.

“A lot of divers and swimmers have been hit by boat propellers in this area between Phang Nga and Phuket. Officials have attempted to solve the issue, but they have not yet found a way of preventing it,” he added.  



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Christy Sweet | 02 September 2016 - 07:41:52

Slippery Snake, I wonder if the issue with safety cages around the propellers is it gets clogged with garbage too often.

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slippery snake | 01 September 2016 - 13:21:15

This happens every second week,,  so many boats and so many people in the water.  Why do they not make the boats propellers have a cage around them to stop this happening ????  be easy to do and not break the bank, but will save terrible injury and in some cases death... 

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Kurt | 01 September 2016 - 12:19:27

Not yet found a way to prevent it?  What attempts?
Very easy, hit them in their pocket!
Confiscate the speed boat, scrap it, with engine and all.
And of course forbid them ever to sail another speed boat again.
Of course, pay the hospital bills + compensation to victims, or a equivalent in jail term. Could become many years.

Why are thai officials not more firm and strict? All so soft.
They obviously not want to do anything. Mentally Paralyzed.

Thai refuse to understand that when a thai boat hits a swimmer than you are by international laws obligated to stop and help the victim the best your can.
Just speeding away make you a criminal! 
Even when you are thai and just have elementary school education.
I don't understand why such a idiot run away boatman is called 'captain'.
It is not a captain. Captains at sea have diplomas, safety certificates.
This is just a thai run away flip flop criminal.

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Asterix | 01 September 2016 - 11:45:15

Thai authorities have stepped up efforts to ensure the safety of visitors by reviewing all safety standards and regulations concerning all modes of transportation and to tighten and enhance marine safety measures in all of the Kingdom’s marine tourism destinations as well as on rivers and lakes.

The Ministry of Transport, the Marine Department, and the Ministry of Tourism and Sports are working in collaboration to enforce marine safety measures with the aim of reducing accidents and improving the travel experience for both tourists and local residents.

Some preventative measures and new regulations from the Marine Department are now in the pipeline. These include:
1/- Drug and alcohol checks for all boat operators before and after journeys (new legislation).
2/- New marine speed limits based on engine size. Mandatory GPS devices for any boats that will carry more than 12 passengers (new legislation).
3/- All boat passengers will be required to wear life jackets at all times when on the boat.
4/- Port officials to check operators’ licenses and passenger numbers to ensure that limits are not exceeded.
5/- Port officials to enforce the use of red and green flag signalling to warn boat operators about weather conditions.
6/- Copies of tourist passports and ID cards to be made before the journey.
7/- New CCTV systems to be installed at every port (new legislation).
8/- Severe penalties and bans for any businesses or boat operators that break the rules (new legislation).
9/- New and comprehensive testing for anyone applying for a boat operator’s license.
10/- Operators’ licenses to be reviewed and renewed every five years.

Here is the TAT’s latest advice for any tourists planning to take part in off-shore activities in Thailand.
1/- Always use life jackets when taking a boat trip, whether in the sea or river. Take particular care when swimming off coastal areas, especially during the monsoon season. Always comply with warning signs, especially red flags, and only swim in approved beaches.
2/- Jellyfish can come close to the shore, especially during the rainy season. Their sting can be fatal.
3/- Heed the advice of locals and officials when going out on boats and get advice from your hotel and the safest boat operators and dive services. Make sure you always listen to the crew and dive masters to ensure you know all safety instructions.
4/- If you rent jet skis or water sports equipment, make sure that safety precautions are adequate and well in place. Rent only from reputable, licensed and insured operators. Thoroughly check for damage before use and insist on training.
5/- In the rainy season from May to October, visitors should take good care when swimming, diving, kayaking or white-water rafting in rivers or close to waterfalls, as the currents can be extremely strong.
6/- Anyone who wants to ask for assistance in case of accidents can contact the Marine Department’s Helpline 1111 or submit complaints with the Tourist Police Hotline 1155. The service is available 24 hours.

International Public Relations Division
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Tel: +66 (0) 2250 5500 ext. 4545-48
Fax: +66 (0) 2253 7419
Facebook: TAT Newsroom
Twitter: TAT Newsroom
Instagram: TAT Newsroom

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Asterix | 01 September 2016 - 11:43:19

Harbour Department should publish a "HandBook for Skippers & Captains" about navigation regulations and their job & duties at the helm of any commercial boats.

According to the new Thailand National Park Regulation, international diving regulations (ATUS, CMAS, PADI, SSI, NAUI) and the standards of international rules for sea vessel international standarts, we may conclude that various regulations require:
- Moving boats of any kind must not exceeded 3 knots inside shoreline zone (International boating regulation: it is 300 meters).
- Moving boats of any kind must not exceeded 3 knots while approching coral reefs and moving on coral reefs.
- Moving boats of any kind must be off by 50 meter radius of any diving or snorkeling boat which has the international Alpha flag (Letter A: danger within 50 meters around the boat and must be clear off by any moving boat).
- Moving boats of any kind must be off by 50 meter radius of any diving or snorkeling boat which has the international diving flag (Red with a white line crossing the flag: danger within 50 meters around the boat and must be clear off by any moving boat).
- Moving boats of any kind must be off by 50 meter radius of any divers' surface buoy (Divers below).
- Large powered boats have to use a tender dinghy to drop-off and pick-up divers and snorkelers in snorkeling and diving area or on or nearby coral reefs.
- Any staff members involved in supervising the diving of visitors and/or leading a group of divers in the water must ensure full compliance with recognized scuba diving safety measures.

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