Wiwat Chitchertwong, the Acting Chief of the Phuket Marine Office, and Somchai Sumanushajonkul Deputy Director of Phuket Marine Region 5 office, led the launch of the water-safety offensive at Ao Por and Yamu Pier in Pa Khlok today (Dec 28).
“We are checking that boats and the crews are fit and fully prepared in terms of safety,” Mr Wiwat told The Phuket News.
“We repeated to tour guides, crews, captains and passengers the safety requirements thhat must be observed, such as wearing life jackets while on board, no alcohol on board and to follow officer’s instructions,” he said.
An estimated 40,000 passengers on board a total of 1,419 boats were checked in and out of the 24 main ports and piers in Phuket yesterday alone (Dec 27), Mr Wiwat explained.
“We have posted marine officials to work together with Marine Police and local municipality officials at all 24 piers and we have set up centres to provide assistance to tourists at Ao Por Pier, Rassada Pier and Chalong Pier,” he added.
Marine Region 5 Chief Mr Somchai warned, “The officials must fully perform their duties in order to provide service and safety for all people and tourists during the New Year holidays from Dec 27- Jan 2.
“Boat tour operators must check that the boat and equipment on board is in full working order. Also, the captain, crew and the boat’s helmsman are not to drink alcohol,” he added.
“Meanwhile, tourists must wear life jackets, and boats are not to carry more passengers than they are registered to safely do,” Mr Somchai said.
Mr Wiwat added to the warning. “Any persons who do not follow an order from an official will be charged and fined by law.”
Additional reporting Tanyaluk Sakoot