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Tourists exempt in jet-ski licence crackdown

Tourists exempt in jet-ski licence crackdown

PHUKET: Tourists are not required to have the correct licence in order to operate a rental jet-ski, Phuket Marine Police Chief Lt Col Jeerayut Niyomdet has confirmed to The Phuket News.

By The Phuket News

Monday 20 March 2023, 12:46PM

The confirmation follows Phuket Marine Police issuing a warning that people caught operating a jet-ski without the correct licence, technically a Helmsman Class II licence, faced a fine of B1,000-10,000 or up to six months’ imprisonment.

The warning also cautioned that any person caught operating an unregistered jet-ski faced a fine of up to B10,000.

“If the jet-ski is rented from an operator, the client does not need to have a driver’s licence,” Lt Col Jeerayut said.

“The client will not be arrested as they had rented it. The person who must hold the driver’s licence is the [rental] operator of the jet-ski,” he continued.

However, people who own and ride their jet-skis are not exempt. They must have the correct licence in order to operate the jet-ski and the jet-ski must be registered, Lt Col Jeerayut said.

“Privately-owned jet skis can be registered at the Phuket Marine Office and the [driver’s] licence can be done at the same office,” he said.

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The warning was issued on Friday (Mar 17) after jet-ski rental operators at Bang Tao Beach were caught renting out jet-skis with expired registrations.

The jet-ski operators now face a fine of up to B10,000.

Lt Col Jeerayut said Marine Police officers have stepped up their inspections of jet-skis in tourist areas.

“A team of officers has conducted inspections at several beaches already, on Mar 16-17,” he said.

“Patong Beach, Naka Island, Siray Bay and BangTao Beaches were all inspected, and they arrested six jet-ski operators for both not having the correct licence to operate jet-skis and for having licences that had expired,” Lt Col Jeerayut confirmed.

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Kurt | 22 March 2023 - 08:48:38

The usual Thai Officialdom  illogical handling matters, and violating their own rubber laws. I wrote 'handling', not 'thinking', as any thinking can't be discovered.

Taswegian | 21 March 2023 - 12:50:40


Asterix | 21 March 2023 - 10:53:35

Officially all jet-skis are registered by the Harbour Department as a commercial craft and a driver's licence such as "Helmsman Class II licence" should be compulsory to drive fast and dangerous jet-skis especially by tourists without a driver's licence and no knowledge of the navigational boat regulations.

Asterix | 21 March 2023 - 10:53:06

1/- Tourist without a boat driver's licence - Tourists should be limited to a zoning with several surface buoys to make a circuit to ride clockwise to avoid accidents.
2/- Tourist with a boat driver's licence - Tourist should be able to ride a jet-ski where he wants according to the navigational boat regulations.

JohnC | 21 March 2023 - 09:02:47

So it's okay to have no licence on the water riding jetskis but on land riding motor bikes licences are rigorously enforced, but mostly on foreigners only. Isn't this pretty hypocritical? You must have an International licence to ride a scooter but can ride a powerful water bike no licence required. Both are equally dangerous in the wrong hands.


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