Parasailing, sea walker firms ordered to insure customers

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Parasailing and “sea walker” companies have been ordered to get insurance to cover customers in case of death or injury.
Parasailing and “sea walker” companies have been ordered to get insurance to cover customers in case of death or injury.

Parasailing and “sea walker” companies have been ordered to get insurance to cover customers in case of death or injury.

Maj. Gen. Popanan Luang­panuwat, head of the National Council for Peace and Order in Banglamung, chaired a Sept. 11 meeting of the Pattaya City Council and district officials on the insurance coverage, which became required Sept. 20.

The directive follows the July 11 death of 70-year-old Aussie tourist John Hussey in Phuket, who fell out of his parasailing harness off Kata Beach. He died of his injuries at Patong Hospital. The operator claimed the victim pulled on a ring that had secured him in the harness.

Pattaya watersports operators were told three days later to beef up safety precautions, but authorities quickly realized that the 17 sea walker and 17 parasailing companies operating in Pattaya are doing so without any insurance coverage for patrons.

All the companies were told to contact an insurance broker immediately and obtain liability coverage. Popanan, who also serves on the city council, said an example package would allow an operator to affordably obtain coverage that would pay 200,000 baht to the family of a person killed while flying high above or walking below the ocean’s surface, and up to 100,000 baht for someone injured while doing so.