Pattaya dusts off marine safety checks following Phuket boat tragedy

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Pattaya Municipal Police check up on boats and sea operators along the shores of Pattaya and the pier after the Phuket tragedy.
Pattaya Municipal Police check up on boats and sea operators along the shores of Pattaya and the pier after the Phuket tragedy.

Right on cue, Pattaya officials ordered renewed safety checks following the tragic sinking of two tourist boats in Phuket.

As happens after every serious marine accident nationwide, the Marine Department and municipal police checked licenses, boat seaworthiness and life-jacket use at Bali Hai Pier.

The checks follow the July 6 sinking of the Phoenix and Serenita in heavy seas between Koh Racha and Phuket’s Chalong Pier. Forty-five passengers – nearly all Chinese tourists – died and two remain missing.

Such accidents routinely are followed by much-ballyhooed “crackdowns” on marine safety in Pattaya and elsewhere. But the crackdowns are soon forgotten and then it becomes business as usual again until the next tourist dies.

Following the tried-and-true script, Pattaya officials ordered life guard and sea-rescue squads to remain vigilant, municipal police to check all boats leaving port, and Marine Department inspectors to check speedboat and ferry licenses.