The collision, between tour boat ALP 111 and the tour speedboat Payan 5, occurred in the channel linking Phuket Boat Lagoon and Royal Phuket Marina to Phang Nga Bay at about 8am. (See story here.)
Marine Department Chief Witthaya visited both marinas and the site of the collision as part of his inspection.
“I am very sorry for the two deaths and those injured. The boats have been seized as evidence. The boats’ captains have been banned from driving any boats for two years,” Chief Witthaya said.
“As to the cause of the accident, we believe that one of them was driving too fast,” he noted.
“At this stage, I have ordered Phuket Marine officers to set up training for boat captains, as we found that some of them may not know how to drive properly in different areas and not know the proper safety procedures when an accident happens,” Chief Witthaya said.
“We will also send some officers to examine the channel for further dredging,” he added.
“We want every tour and boat operator to pay attention to safety as a priority. For normal people, if you see any unsafe boat, unsafe pier, dangerous boat driver, please inform the Marine Department hotline 1199,” Chief Witthaya urged.
Chief Witthaya made no mention of any criminal charges of negligence pending resulting in the deaths of the two children and the dozens of people injured.
Joining Department Chief Witthaya on his inspection was Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana.
“I am deeply sorry for those who passed away and had injuries from the two boat crash. From the accident, two children passed away and other 19 tourists got injured. At this time, only one injured is still receiving medical treatment at Bangkok Hospital Phuket,” Governor Phakaphong told the press.
The Ministry of Tourism & Sports has remedial coverage of up to B1 million per death and up to B500,000 medical expense. The tour provider has insurance coverage with Southeast Insurance of up to B500,000 per death and up to B500,000 for medical expenses, he added.