However, Phuket Marine Office Chief Surat Sirisaiyat told The Phuket News today that he will not investigate the incident further.**
Chief Surat Sirisaiyat and other officials inspected Paradise Beach on Sunday (April 15) after a post on a public group Facebook page last Thursday (April 12) alleged that black, oily water was washing ashore there.
The inspection team, however, found no traces of dirty water at all at the beach, Mr Surat confirmed this afternoon (April 18).
“We took the report of black oil possibly being released from a boat or a ship seriously, but we found nothing. There were no traces of any contaminated water, or wastewater, at the beach at all,” he said.
Mr Surat was suitably not impressed with the report.
“It is not funny. I have never heard of any black oil on Paradise Beach or any other beach in Phuket in my time working here. We welcome any such reports so we can take action, but this information was unreliable,” he said.
Regarding dirty water contaminating other natural water areas in Phuket, such as in Rawai emptying into Chalong Bay and at Surin Beach, Mr Surat said that such situations were “terrible”, but that he is to leave the issue for the relevant local municipalities to address.
“There is dirty water in several areas in Phuket. I know about these, but this is the local municipality’s responsibility. Most dirty water (sic) derives from houses and businesses in the local municipal areas in Chalong Bay and Surin Beach,” Mr Surat said.
“Black water on Surin Beach is not supposed to appear like that. The excavated area creates a terrible view on the beach. Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong knows about these issues,” he added.
“This is not for me to comment or to take action on as my responsibilities focus on water transportation traffic, marine accidents and oil and rubbish in the ocean. Wastewater is the responsibility of local municipalities,” he repeated.
Regarding the Rawai canal contamination, a photo sent to The Phuket News confirmed that black wastewater was again flowing into Chalong Bay despite officials’ attempts to rectify that situation. (See stories here and here.)
At Surin Beach, the lack of rain and hot weather has intensified the the concentration of contaminants in the pool of black water sitting openly on the beach.
** The Phuket News notes that as recently as last week a woman from Argentina woman was facing charges for providing false information to Phuket officers under Section 172 of the Criminal code, which states. “whoever, giving any false information concerning a criminal offence, which may likely cause injury to the other person or the public, to the Public Prosecutor, official conducting cases, inquiry official or any official who has the power to investigate the criminal cases, shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding two years or fined not exceeding B4,000, or both.” (See story here.)