Bands play on as Fleet Review starts in damp fashion

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Sailors from the navies attending the International Fleet Review march though standing water on Pattaya Beach Road following a tropical downpour that led to flooding in the city, Sunday, November 19.
Sailors from the navies attending the International Fleet Review march though standing water on Pattaya Beach Road following a tropical downpour that led to flooding in the city, Sunday, November 19.

The unpredictable Pattaya weather ensured that the much publicized International Fleet Review began with a different kind of flotilla on Sunday.

What started out as a bright sunny day took a turn for the worse around mid-afternoon as a large thunderstorm blew in, bringing with it heavy rain and flash floods that caused delays to the planned festive activities along Beach Road.

With a host of international navies taking part in the Fleet Review and dozens of warships moored in Pattaya Bay, the day had been planned as an ideal opportunity to showcase Pattaya’s spectacular oceanfront to the world.  General Prawit Wongsuwan, the deputy Prime Minister of Thailand was the guest of honor to chair the activities and the event was well attended and packed with spectators along the promenade.

Despite all the preparations however, including developments to Bali Hai Pier and a host of decorations on Beach Road, it seems the city missed a trick with the notorious drainage system which once again failed to cope with the run-off from a tropical downpour.

The attending sailors refused to allow the inclement weather to put too much of a dampener on proceedings though and putting their collective best foot forward, they continued with their parades and marching bands along the sea-front, despite having to wade through water which reached knee deep in places.

While some local officials looked a little embarrassed as the almost bizarre spectacle unfolded, it seems at this stage that the finger of blame is being pointed more at the weathers gods than at any individual civic department.