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Phuket Opinion: They kill children

Phuket Opinion: They kill children

PHUKET: There’s nothing as sick, sad or ridiculous as the coffin of a child. This week Phuket’s so-called Marine Office and the public relations machine, which has bleated nothing but marine safety for nearly the past two years since the Phoenix tour boat disaster, now have two more in their ledger.

opiniontourismtransportmarineSafetydeath
By The Phuket News

Sunday 16 February 2020, 09:00AM


The broken bow of the Payan 5 where the ALP111 slammed into the side, killing two children and injuring 19 other tourists. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

The broken bow of the Payan 5 where the ALP111 slammed into the side, killing two children and injuring 19 other tourists. Photo: Eakkapop Thongtub

As anyone who has lived in Phuket long enough already knows, another “accident” was inevitable. The only aspect that could not be foretold was the toll.

Phuket “marine safety officials” were warned not even two months ago when another boat collision off the east coast killed one boat captain and injured dozens of tourists.

In that collision, local officials took no corrective action because the person who died, Surat Mat-O-Sot, the 49-year-old captain of the tour boat “Choksuphasan 35”, was the one deemed solely responsible for the accident.

No one asked why Surat was still driving a boat full of tourists after he had already killed two Korean tourists and injured more than a dozen more in 2014 in the notorious capsizing when he bent over to pick up a black plastic bag that had blown into the cabin.

Of course this one incident is not alone. The ongoing procession of tour speedboat accidents is nearly an annual event. For some reason officials in Phuket have failed to understand that with such consistent failures of tour boat drivers and the deadly consequences the problem is not the driver. It is the system. That means all tour boat drivers are a risk.

All the talk about safety training means nothing when there are no consequences for not knowing safety laws and procedures – until it is too late. Officials who do not understand this should be removed from office immediately, but everyone knows that is not going to happen. Our previous Marine Office chief was just transferred to Ayutthaya after the Phoenix disaster killed 47 tourists in a single incident, Thailand’s worst maritime disaster in modern history, and our Marine chief before that was promoted to watch over river taxis on the outskirts of Bangkok.

There are no consequences for officials failing to perform their duties. The official report into the Phoenix disaster has never been made public.

The powers that be are happy to promote that they will pay victims’ hospital bills and even compensate grieving parents for their dead children, but the one thing they will never publicly promote is that the Royal Thai Government and its agencies and offices are each a juristic person and can be charged and sued just like anyone else. Maybe that’ll work.

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Capt B | 17 February 2020 - 19:36:58

The circus continues.
The nickels n dime insurance is a total joke. All the money in the world will not bring those children back. Should be at least USD5M compensation per death. I won't quote you in THB as it won't be worth much soon with the way things are going.

Jor12 | 17 February 2020 - 15:45:30

Yes...sane, intelligible comments in English for a change.

Kurt | 17 February 2020 - 14:29:33

@island Man, this excellent Opinion Piece doesn't need any comment. It is exactly my thinking.  And for comments, we can be anywhere in the world in these times of globalisation. Right?

Island Man | 17 February 2020 - 09:03:09

Kurt must be on holiday out of the country.

malczx7r | 16 February 2020 - 20:02:39

Absolutely spot on article, now if only those "in charge" would take note, not much chance of that though! Just like the 7 days of danger where the same failed ideas are dragged out every year and amazement by the officials when nothing changes! And the deaths mount up! 

Safety First | 16 February 2020 - 13:42:54

How many more? I agree that the only way things may change is when victims and their families sue captains and the authorities for negligence and failure to enforce the regulations/ marine laws.

Nasa12 | 16 February 2020 - 12:13:11

This was a very good article and Yes,they kill children every day. Every body can see outside every school morning and afternoon children don’t us helmets and police se this everyday and give a sh.t and parents off cors. 

Wiesel | 16 February 2020 - 12:06:59

"For some reason officials in Phuket have failed to understand that with such consistent failures of tour boat drivers and the deadly consequences the problem is not the driver. It is the system. That means all tour boat drivers are a risk." Could be a comment from Insp. K.. 

JohnC | 16 February 2020 - 09:18:55

Suing the Thai government??? Yeah right. Good luck with that! In the meantime, I'm watching pigs flying past my house....

 

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