The sparkling sea waters of Jomtien Beach were marred by a distressing sight on May 25, when an oil slick was seen floating on its surface. This discovery prompted beach umbrella operators to take immediate action, temporarily suspending their services while awaiting assistance from Pattaya city authorities.
Madsa Ong-At, a 62-year-old beach umbrella-rental operator said that at 7 a.m. that morning, as he was preparing his beach umbrellas for the day’s operations, he detected a distinct smell of oil in the air. Intrigued, he ventured towards the receding shoreline and saw the oil slick floating atop the water’s surface.
Upon closer inspection, he saw that the oil slick had contaminated the sandy beach, stretching approximately 50 to 100 meters into the sea. A strong and unpleasant odour emanated from the oil-slick spreading over the surrounding area.
Alarmed by the potential consequences for the beach’s ecosystem and the well-being of visitors, Madsa and his fellow beach umbrella operators urgently appealed to the authorities to act promptly and resolve the situation. As a precautionary measure, they collectively decided to suspend their beach umbrella services until the issue was resolved, and the beach deemed safe for tourists again.
Authorities suspect the origin of the oil slick to be from a leak in a large sea vessel or an oil tanker sailing offshore.