Chonburi officials ban night ferries during holidays

Friday, 03 January 2014 From Issue Vol. XXII No. 1 By  Warunya Thongrod

Chonburi’s governor barred ferry operators from running trips after dark during the year-end holidays.

Gov. Khomsan Ekachai issued the strict operating rules Dec. 25, preventing ferries from operating in any provincial waters from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. between Dec. 27 and Jan. 2. The order affected Pattaya, Sriracha, and Koh Si Chang.

Khomsan noted that the New Year’s holidays traditionally saw surges of tourist traffic between Pattaya and Koh Larn, and Sriracha and Koh Si Chang. As well as increased use of passenger, rental and speed boats for water sports.

Chonburi Permanent Secretary Chawalit Saeng-Uthai announces that Chonburi’s governor barred ferry operators from running trips after dark during the year-end holidays.Chonburi Permanent Secretary Chawalit Saeng-Uthai announces that Chonburi’s governor barred ferry operators from running trips after dark during the year-end holidays.

Having seen dozens of tourists hurt or killed during the past year in marine accidents, the governor acknowledged that officials can no longer guarantee the safety of boat passengers. So, to mitigate risk, he simply shut down all nighttime services during their highest-use period.

He also assigned more officers to work ferry stations, checking that boats weren’t overloaded, crewmembers were drunk or high, and that weather conditions were safe.

“It’s been shown we cannot even handle afternoon accidents. If there were an accident at night, it would be a disaster,” said Chonburi Permanent Secretary Chawalit Saeng-Uthai. “These measures may affect certain operators, but we want citizens to understand that the losses are not worth the risk.”

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