2 of 3 Pattaya boat owners ignore announcement of new marine regulations

Friday, 30 May 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 22 By  Warunya Thongrod

Only a third of area boat owners turned out to hear Pattaya officials announce their latest set of proposed marine regulations and details of a 31 million baht plan for buoys stretching from the mainland to Koh Larn.

City Councilman Sanit Boonmachai, who also heads the Pattaya Tour Boat Operators Club, said he was disappointed that only 100 of 300 local boat owners attended the May 19 city hall meeting. He said that shows operators aren’t willing to cooperate with city hall.

Sanit Boonmachai, member of Pattaya City Council and president of the Pattaya Tourist Boat Club points out some of the details of the new plan.Sanit Boonmachai, member of Pattaya City Council and president of the Pattaya Tourist Boat Club points out some of the details of the new plan.

The meeting was, however, at least the sixth held in the past year to announce some form of new marine rules or initiatives.

The meeting was to preview regulations to control the speed and course of speedboats and designate specific areas for water sports other than swimming. Three speed-limit buoys and six navigational buoys are planned, as well as 21 buoys to demark zones for jet skis, banana boats, parasailing, scuba diving and sea walking.

The price tag for the plan currently sits at 31 million baht, but the plan lacks any budget support from the national government and, with Cabinet depleted by Constitutional Court rulings and the parliament disbanded, even Sanit acknowledged there’s no estimate on when the plan can be fully funded.

In the interim, he said, the city will use “emergency” funds to drop the most-important buoys at entrance and exit points at areas at Bali Hai Pier and Koh Larn’s Cape Hua Kod.

The buoy plan is part of a five-phase program demanded by Chonburi Province officials following a string of marine accidents stretching back to the beginning of 2013. The plan covers water zone regulation, supervision and control of water traffic, integration between public and private sectors, increasing awareness of safety, and reforming laws.

One example of the new regulations, Sanit said, will be those prohibiting anchoring at Koh Larn’s pier by any unregistered boat and designated mooring areas for registered boats.

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