Marine Dept. reassures business leaders on marine safety

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The Pattaya Marine Department reassured city business leaders that steps already have been taken to prevent new boat accidents following two April incidents.

Ekarat Khantaro, director of Pattaya Marine Department, told the Pattaya Business & Tourism Association at its May 11 meeting at the Grand Sole Hotel that new speed limits have been imposed on Koh Larn following last month’s collision between two boats, and a crash between a speedboat and jet ski that killed a Chinese tourist.

(L to R) Surat Mekhavarakul, chairman of the Cultural Council Banglamung, Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn, president of PBTA, Verawat Khakhay, deputy mayor of Pattaya, and Ekarat Khantaro, director of the Marine Department Pattaya during the monthly PBTA meeting.

He said boat operators have been told of new rules regarding entering and leaving the island’s beaches. In addition, new barriers have been installed to create traffic lanes.

A Chinese tourist was killed and a Thai guide hurt April 25 when a jet ski and speedboat collided off Koh Larn. The boat driver said he never saw the tourist due to high waves.

The following day, two speedboats collided off the island, injuring eight Chinese when one of the boats sank. High waves again were blamed for obscuring visibility.

PBTA President Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn stressed that Chinese tourists are the city’s most important visitor group. He noted that the last of 10,000 Infinite Titus Overseas Training Co. employees who have been visiting Pattaya as part of a company-paid holiday will be arriving soon and staying in upper-end hotels.