From May 29-June 2, shorelines with rainstorms will experience waves up to 3m high.
The Phuket Marine Office on Friday (May 27) issued a ban on all vessels smaller than 10m in length or with a horsepower of less than 400 from going to Koh Phi Phi, Koh Racha and other long-distance trips. Boats headed towards Phang Nga Bay, Koh Lone, Koh Hae and islands closer to Phuket can proceed with caution.
Official warning from the Thailand Meteorological Department for the period of May 25-27 predicted strong winds with waves around 2-4 metres high, bringing over 100 boats to moor at Rawai beach yesterday (May 28),including long-tails and speedboats.
Turbulent weather conditions have affected tourist activity all over the island, especially at Rawai Beach, which experienced unusually low activity yesterday due to the halt of small tour boats, as well as speedboats and other tourist services.
Mr Suthep Salee, a member of the Rawai longtail boat club said that despite five days of tour boat inactivity, the livelihood of long-tail boat operators has not been harmed. The downturn in tourist activity is to be expected with the onset of the monsoon season.
“We stress safety first and follow official warnings and order. Plus, we are following the weather forecast closely and check every time prior take the boats out to sea”, he added.
While the majority of boat operators are avoiding the sea today, The Phuket News observed that some beach-goers are still going into the water, despite the warning signs and weather conditions. Patong Beach has red flags, which warn against entering the water at all.
Chalong pier, on the east coast, has marine police monitoring the area and helping tourists board tour boats.