Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

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.

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).


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

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
Amnesty strips Aung San Suu Kyi of highest honour

Very Good! Pity that Nobel Price regulations not able to cancel/take back a Nobel Price. Perhaps wi...(Read More)

Phuket man nabbed with over 52,000 ya bah pills, ya ice

Many coffee shops closing down,rules of selling weed getting stricter.They are tolerant towards soft...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

Dekas,you nailed it ! Whenever i thought it can't get any lower here,the one person comes up and...(Read More)

Amnesty strips Aung San Suu Kyi of highest honour

It is usually a terrible mistake to use role models to promote progressive agendas. It usually back...(Read More)

Weather warning for Phuket remains in effect

Hardly any rain last few days, and almost no wind. Strange weather report. So, how are things going ...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

@ Wiesel, I love Thailand and the thai people. I not like thai officials incompetence, lack of law ...(Read More)

Phuket man nabbed with over 52,000 ya bah pills, ya ice

Pascale, like me, you could have seen BBC World and CNN about the Dutch tolerance, and thai visitors...(Read More)

Wildlife officials arrest slow loris tout at Bang Tao Beach

7 RTP officers ( in office) on a slow loris case. A case brought up mostly by others ( tourists) as ...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

@DEK, so, it is not a campaign against officials, they campaign against themselves all the time, you...(Read More)

Finances blamed for Phuket DJ suicide

@ DEK, understand many jobs gone/going due to the official regimental small thinker tourist approach...(Read More)