The news follows international headlines of a Chinese man taking his infant daughter on a screaming skyward ride at Patong Beach on Wednesday (Aug 16).
The incident was made public by tourist David Carlyle, who reported, “We watched as the toddler was clearly crying and in distress while these men were forcing the harness on her.
“Thirty seconds later she was being towed up and out with her father behind her along with a local, as they quickly ascended into the sky.
“They all had absolutely no concern about what they just did to that poor little girl,” he said. (See story here.)
Prajat Somnam, who as President of Patong Parasail Club represents all parasail operators on Patong Beach, has ordered all parasail operators to no longer allow children of the ages of about five or six years old on parasail rides, Patong Parasail Club spokesperson Nucha Petchvimol told The Phuket News today (Aug 18).
“We have yet to decide on the exact age and height yet, but it is obvious that operators were not cautious enough with this tourist,” Mr Nucha, who is also President of the Patong Jet Ski Association, said.
“We will join a public meeting with the Patong Mayor to discuss this further on Tuesday,” he added.
Mr Nucha pointed out that the operators’ club was unaware of the incident until he was informed of it by Mayor Chalermluck and asked to have the issue resolved immediately.
“For the past 30 years there have not been any official rules for parasail operators to abide by, but this parasail operator should have already known to take better care of tourists’ safety than this, regardless of how careless a parent might be with their own child,” Mr Nucha explained.
Mayor Chalermluck told The Phuket News today, “After we learned of this news, I urged to my colleagues to figure out what we can do with these operators.
“After the 70-year-old Australian man died after falling into the sea during a parasail ride at Kata Beach in July, the Phuket Governor ordered parasail operators to take better care of tourists. Then I found out this, showing that they are unable to do anything unless officials force them,” she added.
“This happened in Patong, which is my responsibility. I cannot let anything like what happened to the 70-year-old Australian man (see story here) happen again.
“I realise that Patong Municipality has no direct legal authority on this matter, but we must do something,” she said.