Army, police clear out Bali Hai speedboats

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A literal army of soldiers, police, Banglamung District and Marine Department officials invaded Bali Hai Pier, moving to clear out dozens of trailered speedboats occupying public land.

Many operators said they will refuse to anchor their boats in the designated marina area for long periods, saying the temporary docking berths left their boats vulnerable to damage from storms and strong currents.
Many operators said they will refuse to anchor their boats in the designated marina area for long periods, saying the temporary docking berths left their boats vulnerable to damage from storms and strong currents.

Maj. Suwit Laklang, head of the National Council for Peace and Order regiment at the 21st Military Circle, led the Oct. 5 operation against the organized speedboat operators, finding some had ignored a government dictate to remove their unused watercraft from parking spaces and under the Bali Hai flyover.

Suwit said authorities were pleased many boat owners had cooperated and that, in fact, both sides of the road were now clear, albeit littered badly with rubbish and scrap. City hall workers were dispatched to clean up the area.

Boats not removed voluntarily were towed away to local boatyards while seaworthy vessels were moored in the water.

Many operators, however, said they will refuse to anchor their boats in the designated marina area, saying the temporary docking berths left their boats vulnerable to damage from storms and strong currents.