The training sessions are being held at Phuket’s bustling Rassada Pier yesterday and today (Sept 13-14).
Rassada Pier is a major departure point for thousands of tourists who board boats bound for nearby islands and other areas across Phang Nga Bay.
The training is open to anyone working in Phuket’s marine industry, but is tailored to cater to boat owners, mechanics and crew, a marine official involved in the training sessions explained to The Phuket News.
“We want them to learn safety standards in marine transportation, and this training will help participants in obtaining qualifications for licenses and certificates for marine transportation.” the officer added.
However, taking part in the training is voluntary only. The training is not compulsory.
Providing the training are industry experts, company representatives and Navy personnel.
The training is designed to teach boat owners, supervisors, mechanics, crew and boat staff the marine safety rules and rules and regulations, explained Sompob Panyawai, Chief of Marine Office Region 5.
“They will also learn the laws regarding navigation and standard life-saving equipment,” he said.
“In addition, they will be taught specific skills such as propeller trim, periodic maintenance and trouble-shooting pump problems by experts such as staff from Thai Yamaha Co Ltd,” he added.
“According to statistics, the number of passengers transported by marine traffic in Phuket has doubled in past three years. This is a large segment of the country’s tourism industry,” Mr Sompob said told attendees at the first training session yesterday (Sept 13).
“This training will enhance the knowledge of boat operators and raise awareness of the safety of passengers. It also ensures that tourists will be safe while travelling in Phuket,” he added.
Mr Sompob explained to the attendees that Phuket’s marine tourism industry is now under much closer scrutiny.
“I will focus on main three aspects for the development of human resources at piers in Phuket,” he said.
“First, every captain must have a current valid license for driving the boat. Second, the weight carried on board (including the number of passengers) must not be more than legally permitted
“Third, every pier must have the appropriate safety equipment, and fourth, every boat operator must have full passenger manifests,” he said.
“Phuket marine officials will be strict on the rules. Officials will ban boats that do not follow the rules, and we will check to ferries for enforcement,” Mr Sompob warned.
Meanwhile, the number of participants taking part in the training sessions already exceeds the number the Phuket Marine Office has catered for, one of the organising officials explained.
“We will have more training sessions in the future,” she added.