Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks

Phuket Opinion: Tragic lip service at sea

PHUKET: Over recent months there have been several incidents in which divers have mysteriously gone missing or died while out on a tour, resurrecting doubt about safety in the local marine industry.

marinedeathChineseRussianopiniontourism
By The Phuket News

Sunday 6 December 2015, 09:00AM


Thailand is renowned for its pristine dive spots and draws visitors from all across the world. Photo eurodiversworldwide.

Thailand is renowned for its pristine dive spots and draws visitors from all across the world. Photo eurodiversworldwide.

In the latest incident just last week, the body of a Chinese tourist was found alone, some 11 metres deep by another dive tour group north of Phuket, the circumstances surrounding her death still vague.

The tragedy came only 10 days after another Korean tourist had mysteriously died during a “try dive” trip off Phuket's Koh Hae.

In April, 36-year-old American Joshua Devine (see story here) went missing while he was en route to the Similan Islands. His body was never recovered, nor was light ever shined onto his disappearance.

A month before that, in March, a “volunteer” Thai diver died on a tour around the Similan Islands, while he and a few other volunteers were attempting to adjust moorings at a depth of 42 metres.

Then there was the British tourist who was severely injured by a boat’s propellers in June while she was diving off the coast of Koh Tao (see story here).

Don't forget about the Russian cave divers (see story here) who died in December last year after an accident in the Chiewlan Reservoir in Surat Thani, or the Norwegian tourist who perished, also in December of last year, while diving off the shores of Tao Thong island when she was hit by the propeller of another dive vessel (see story here).

Laguna Golf Phuket

Ironically enough the dive shop she arranged with pride themselves with their 'Safety and Quality First' motto.

While the exact causes in each respective case are not always clear-cut, and in some cases could be argued as legit accidents, the consistency and frequency of such incidents is all too concerning.

All too often we are left with only more questions and excuses than answers and solutions, and with each tragedy authorities vow to get tough on safety enforcement, vowing to ramp up inspections on boat companies and diving instructors.

Yet, more hapless souls continue to needlessly lose their lives, instead of 'having the time of their lives'?

Indeed Thailand is still home to some pristine dive sites, which will continue to lure marine tourists near and far.

However, if the country and industry is to curb if not eliminate the number of tragedies in the future, active and consistent enforcement of protocol and regulations will be required. Lip service won't cut it.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Simon Lomas | 08 December 2015 - 11:49:41

That is the big trouble here. There are many top dive centers but there are also many like "phuket William" that are not. These are tiny places run out of villa's, appts or other addresses. They offer cheap diving. All the big centers are almost the same price as each other as they cant give the discount without cutting corners and then safety becomes an issue. All the good safe cent...

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Chinese men use fake taxi ploy to kidnap, rob Chinese woman in Phuket

"damage to the image of... taxi drivers" 555, that's a good one. If it were a real Tha...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Last week I had my monthly haircut for 150 thb. In next chair was a chinese tourist getting same hai...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Thai are good in marketing themselves, but many times bad in not delivering what they state/preach. ...(Read More)


Tourism still wounded one year on from Phoenix disaster

Despite all the discussion of what Thailand has done to make themselves look better to the Chinese.....(Read More)


Phuket light-rail budget B34.8bn for Phase 1 only, expected to jump 10%

Ben, they never bring in foreign experts to help with any major projects because it would make it mu...(Read More)


‘I only shot him to stop the attack’, says Patong tuk-tuk driver

Oh, so this Chartchai was just being a good citizen trying to protect tourists from this bad guy??? ...(Read More)


‘I only shot him to stop the attack’, says Patong tuk-tuk driver

‘the fight started because Panya has been cautioned over trying to trick and steal tourists’ be...(Read More)


Surf danger warning issued for Phuket

No need for having "ISLA'.There is already that expert pendejo.Just keep publishing his adv...(Read More)


Patong tuk-tuk drivers attack, kill motorbike taxi tout

What on earth is going on?! The guy's just sitting there smiling at the camera? Perfectly happy ...(Read More)


Patong tuk-tuk drivers attack, kill motorbike taxi tout

Ah yes - only recently the head of the taxi clubs was complaining about new taxes driving away touri...(Read More)