Boat operators told to sign agreements on speed, fines

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Pattaya tourist boat operators called to a second emergency meeting in two days were required to agree to refresher safety training to ensure two accidents last month do not reoccur.

Ekarat Khantaro, director of Pattaya Marine Department, chaired the April 29 session with City Councilman Sanit Boonmachai, who also heads the Pattaya Tourism Boats Club.

Pattaya tourist boat operators called to a second emergency meeting in two days were required to sign an acknowledgement of legal speed limits and to pay fines of up to 5,000 baht if they are found to be moving too quickly.

Sanit said the city agreed the day before to reinstall old buoys while it waits for budget approval to replace poorly maintained barriers installed in 2014.

Now badly damaged, the buoys had marked transit lanes for boats. Now, however, the buoys have disappeared and boats are traveling in areas vulnerable to accidents.

The councilman said boat drivers must sign an acknowledgement of legal speed limits and to pay fines of up to 5,000 baht if they are found to be moving too quickly.

A Chinese tourist was killed and a Thai guide hurt April 25 when a jet ski the tourist was riding slammed into a moving speedboat off Koh Larn. The following day, two speedboats collided off the island, injuring eight Chinese when one of the boats sank.

Ekarat said the license of one boat captain involved in the second incident has been suspended for two years.