The Rayong government plans to close the old Koh Samet Pier Nov. 1 due to decay, whilst the new pier is still unsafe to use due to the inability to complete its construction.
Rayong Provincial Administrative Organization President Piya Pitutaecha said Oct. 21 that the old pier on Samet Island has deteriorated to the point where tourists likely will be injured trying to use it to disembark from the large transport boats ferrying them to the island.
Officials inspect the unfinished new pier, which is still a mess, whilst making the decision to close the dangerously decrepit old pier.
Meanwhile, he said, the Department of National Park Wildlife and Plant Conservation terminated work on the new 170 million baht replacement due to permitting issues, leaving the government with no choice but to suspend all boat service to the island’s main pier.
According to sources, after Nov. 1, the larger ferries will be forced to stop 30-40 meters offshore to unload passengers into smaller vessels, which will the take them the rest of the way to the island.
A full environmental impact report must be done and proper permits obtained before work can continue, Piya said.
Until now, the government has allowed boats and fishing vessels to use the old pier, but the situation has become too dangerous and all boat service to the pier must end, Piya said.
Piya admitted residents and tourists will be inconvenienced by the closure and urged national government officials to step in to resolve the situation.