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Safety the priority not money, says commander of Tourist Police

Safety the priority not money, says commander of Tourist Police

PHUKET: The deputy commander of the Tourist Police Division has said that safety should come before money following this week’s boating accidents which left dozens of people injured.

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By The Phuket News

Friday 19 January 2018, 12:31PM


Commander of the Tourist Police Maj Gen Surachet Hakphan and Director-general of the Marine Department Chirute Visalachitra (2nd and 3rd from left) inspect one of the boats involved in this week’s speedboat collision on the east coast of the island. Photo: PR Dept

Commander of the Tourist Police Maj Gen Surachet Hakphan and Director-general of the Marine Department Chirute Visalachitra (2nd and 3rd from left) inspect one of the boats involved in this week’s speedboat collision on the east coast of the island. Photo: PR Dept

Meanwhile, the Governor of Phuket has urged local government officials to brainstorm what they see as the island’s problems, so the issues can be reported to members of the National Legislative Assembly (NLA), during thier visit to the island planned for February 3-4.

Governor Norraphat Plodthong’s comments came following the commander of the Tourist Police yesterday (Jan 18) pointing out problems with Phuket’s marine safety during a visit to the island yesterday morning.

Yesterday morning, deputy commander of the Tourist Police Division Maj Gen Surachet Hakphan met with Gov Norraphat regard the this week’s two speedboat accidents.

Maj Gen Surachet said, “Officials must respond to all incidents concerning people and marine transport.

“Every related agency must focus on this. Income should not be businesses’ first priority, it should be their second priority. It is down to local officials to figure out marine transport safety.”

General Director-general of the Marine Department Chirute Visalachitra added, “There are more than 1,800 speed boats here in Phuket. I have repeated to tourist police and local police that they should be well aware of any issues regarding marine transport that could lead to an accident.

“Relevant officials should check every speedboat once a year, and the Phuket Marine Office must speed up to improve safety issues to avoid accidents,” he said.

Gov Norraphat added, “I am aware that as a result of recent incidents such as roaming crocodiles and flooding that some tour companies have cancelled trips to Phuket. Photos of such incidents are distributed around the world and this has a serious affect on Phuket’s economy and investors.

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“Also, the trash issue, it’s everywhere, it’s on the land, on the beach and in the ocean. I am trying to invite investors and business persons to help us manage the trash issue so we can conserve the environment. Therefore, we need to figure out solutions to this problem as fast as we can,” he said.

Meanwhile, yesterday afternoon Gov Norraphat urged officials to be ready to report all issues to members of the NLA on February 3-4.

He said, “We have to prepare all information on the island’s issues because members of the NLA will be visiting us next month.

“They are coming here specifically to hear about Phuket’s problems in five areas; beach management, transportation, traffic, city plans and floods. However, they will also need to know about tourism problems and tourism management, especially in Patong.

“They will also need to know about the standards of Vachira Phuket Hospital,” he said.

“On this occasion I am ordering all agencies concerned to be prepared for this meeting with complete information to present to members of the NLA.

“In addition, Phuket residents will also be able to attend this meeting to express what they see as problems so that the NLA will recognise them and they can assist with resolutions,” he added.

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Kurt | 21 January 2018 - 13:56:41

Phuket problems are known all over the world.
And NLA doesn't know about it? Hard to believe.
And local Phuket officials now must 'brainstorm'? 
Very funny.
In thai schools there is no brainstorm education.

Kurt | 20 January 2018 - 16:51:45

The Phuket problems in five areas are well known by thai officials, even in BKK.
They not need to come to Phuket for a 'listening-holiday'. They have to come with solutions about the to them well known problems.
Simple and easy.
Other wise, don't come. Than you are not taken serious as a Official.
Listening times are over. Phuket needs actions!

Kurt | 20 January 2018 - 13:16:11

They just avoid understanding that having 3 outboard benzine engines, 250 pk each (!) are all the time a very dangerous thing.
The flash point of the fuel ( including in their spare containers) is a constant threat to tourists with the kind of boatman sailing these not sea worth plywood boats.

Is there any thai official knowing about 'flash point' while talking about safety?

CaptainJack69 | 20 January 2018 - 11:32:43

"They are coming here specifically to hear about Phuket’s problems in five areas; beach management, transportation, traffic, city plans and floods. However, they will also need to know about tourism problems and tourism management"

Sheesh! How long have they got? 2 days wont cover it. 2 weeks and you'd only be scratching the surface.

Asterix | 19 January 2018 - 16:09:39

All transport boats for passengers such as speedboats, ferries and tour boats should be banned with benzine engines.
According to Marine navigation, all transport boats for passengers including speedboats should have live raft.

Asterix | 19 January 2018 - 16:04:08

Urgently, we need to have a "Merchant Marine Training Centre" in the Andaman Sea instead to have only one in Samut Prakan for the whole Thailand as well a "Captain's handbook Manual" available in bookstores, shipchandler and Marinas.

Kurt | 19 January 2018 - 13:34:18

Is the top government brass of Phuket panicking because of the Next month visit of NLA?
Here a little help:
-beach management:  bad 
-Transportation: unsafe, scamming, no public transportation at smart-1 standard.
- Traffic: Very unsafe on Phuket.
-Tourist safety, you just have to hope that a bar owner not has a semi automatic gun below the desk your drink is standing on, and is not drunk

Kurt | 19 January 2018 - 13:22:49

Why mentioning,,.'to know about the standards of Vachira Hospital?...'
Vachira Hospital is a Government hospital, government standards.
So, why need government officers of other government departments to bring up such a matter? 
What for that nonsense remark? Are Phuket officials living on Phuket?

BenPendejo | 19 January 2018 - 13:16:15

Jeez...the amount of meaningless lip service from government officials is really tiring.  Incapable of managing or governing anything.  I really see very little hope for any desperately needed changes.  The most important thing I can do is maintain 110% vigilance as to all dangers around me...and I am constantly surrounded...all day, every day...in all locations.

Kurt | 19 January 2018 - 13:15:08

Brainstorm Phuket island problems? Many years always the same problems/accidents. It needs no bla bla, but actions to tackle the well known tourist safety  problems.
Safety the priority, not the money? Why is it phrased like that if the money is a 'no'? The whole article breath 'money'. Plus all that deviating talks about thai administrative issues.

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