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Fireworks, fire lanterns banned near airport, boat safety order issued for Loy Krathong

Fireworks, fire lanterns banned near airport, boat safety order issued for Loy Krathong

PHUKET: Local officials and hotel operators have been reminded that the setting off of fireworks or the launching of khom loy (airborne fire lanterns) near Phuket International Airport is banned during the Loy Krathong festival and throughout the New Year celebrations.

cultureSafetytourismtransportmarine
By The Phuket News

Thursday 7 November 2019, 04:54PM


Phuket International Airport Deputy General Manager Vijit Keawsaitiam issued the reminder that all fireworks and khom loy fire lanterns were banned near the airport for safety reasons at a meeting held yesterday (Nov 6). Photo: PR Dept

Phuket International Airport Deputy General Manager Vijit Keawsaitiam issued the reminder that all fireworks and khom loy fire lanterns were banned near the airport for safety reasons at a meeting held yesterday (Nov 6). Photo: PR Dept

Phuket International Airport Deputy General Manager Vijit Keawsaitiam issued the reminder at a meeting held yesterday (Nov 6).

Mr Vijit said that fireworks and fire lanterns are dangerous and may cause problems with air traffic.

The airborne lanterns distract pilots during takeoffs and landings, and lanterns caught in an airplane engine may cause an explosion, he said.

“I want to ask for cooperation to not use fireworks and fire lanterns in any activity for safety reasons and to prevent any accidents from happening to flights during our tourism peak season,” Mr Vijit explained.

In previous years, airport safety representatives have pointed out that individuals releasing Kom Loy, Kom Kwan, fireworks and drones in the surrounding area of the airport will be guilty of the following offenses:

Section 2499. (1) Any person who commits any act of interfering with an aircraft in a manner likely to cause danger to a person shall be liable to imprisonment for a term of six months to seven years and a fine of between B1,000 and B14,000.

2558 Section 18 (2). Any person who interferes with an aircraft on the ground so that the aircraft is unable to fly or is likely to cause danger to the safety of the aircraft during the flight shall be liable to execution or imprisonment from five years to 20 years and a fine of B600,000 to B800,000.

Meanwhile, The Phuket Marine Office has issued a notice for all marine transport operators to observe safety protocols for the upcoming Loy Krathong festivities next Monday (Nov 11), including reminding boat captains not to be drunk at the helm.

Boat passengers are banned from drinking alcohol, too, said the notice, issued by Phuket Marine Office Director Wiwat Chitchertwong.

The notice was addressed to all pier operators, boat captains and even to passengers in Phuket looking to board a water vessel during the festival.

“Regarding Loy Krathong on November 11, when krathong will be floated in rivers, lakes, reservoirs and water sources near people’s homes, I want every pier, captain and passenger to be aware of safety procedures and follow the rules,” Mr Wiwat said.

“I repeat to all officials and staff who look after piers to set up enough lights at the terminals, make sure there are enough life jackets for everyone, and that officials and staff keep a close watch on tourists,” he added.

At each pier there should be at least four lifesavers as well all the necessary safety devices set ready for use at appropriate places at each locale, Mr Wiwat explained.

“Meanwhile, boat owners must check the boat before allowing tourists on board to make sure there are the correct number of life jackets, swim rings or tubes, and fire extinguishers on the boat. The boat’s capacity must be clearly marked on the boat, and that number must not be exceeded,” he said.

Pressing the safety point home, Mr Wiwat also noted, “Captains must wait for the boat access points to be clear before pulling the boat away from the pier. If the boat is to be driven close to access points, captains must reduce. Captains who are drunk are banned from any water transportation vehicles.”

Boat should inform passengers to not use fireworks and fire lanterns while on the boat.

Addressing passengers, Mr Wiwat noted, “All passengers must put on a life jacket for safety, in case an accident happens on the water. Passengers must wear suitable clothing and sensible shoes that are easy to take off and swim. Sneakers or shoes with shoelaces are not recommended.”

Mr Wiwat also reminded passengers, “Do not stand too close when the boat is docking, and avoid standing in dangerous places on the boat while the boat is moving, such as at the very back of the boat or on cabin the roof.

After finished floating their krathong, people are asked to quickly move away from the pier to safely make room for other people, Mr Wiwat urged.

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Kurt | 08 November 2019 - 05:55:39

Actually, thinking about it, Why Phuket Marine Office doesn't held throughout the year unannounced tourist boat inspections? Spot checks on safety equipment ( not expired?), and skills crew how to act during a safety drill. Are all safety certificates still valid and on board? Can all the crew swim? Check on alcohol- and drugs use among crew at same time by police. Upgrade the boat industry.

Kurt | 08 November 2019 - 05:04:13

ChiangMai Airport closed during Loy Krathon, because the police can't enforce the law, and the thai citizens can't understand why the law must be followed.  A very good warning letter of Director Wiwat of Phuket Marine Office. Hope the thai boat crews read it and act accordingly. Perhaps today some safety boat drills prior?

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