Pattaya mulls additional marine-safety measures

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Pattaya officials continued their drive to improve marine safety, calling for more-durable boats, speed limits and drug testing for crews.

Deputy Mayor Ronakit said at a Sept. 9 that the city already has designated new mooring areas, installed floating barriers to protect swimmers, and launched regular safety training workshops. Now it was time to take further steps about boat construction, maintenance and operation.

He said boats and marine watercraft should be inspected regularly before use.

The Marine Department made a presentation on materials used to construct boats, with officials saying sturdier materials were needed.

But Chakrit Suwanchamrat and Kirkrajorn Tanadkrop of Mahidol University said having durable boats doesn’t mean that boats will be completely safe to operate.

(L to R) Kirkrajorn Tanadkrop and Chakrit Suwanchamrat of Mahidol University say proper maintenance, checks and other safety measures, such as speed limits, are needed to improve marine safety.

Stronger materials only add to the price of boats and only have short term advantages without proper maintenance, checks and other safety measures, such as speed limits.

City Councilman Sanit Boonmachai suggested a maximum speed limit, as yet unconfirmed, to be enforced in Pattaya Bay. He also suggested standardizing the maximum number of passengers any tourist boat could take.

The Mahidol researchers agreed with the idea of speed limits, suggesting Pattaya install technology used in the west to track and regulate speed on the water.

Ronakit said he agreed with the various suggestions, except perhaps the call for more-durable materials, as that could make boats too expensive for operators to buy.

More study will be needed, the panel agreed.