Pattaya ‘sea walker’ operator busted for no license

0
3045
Phuchong Sakritdeechaikul, director of Marine and Coastal Resources Administration Office 2, checked all sea walking operations off the Pattaya resort island after Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa saw the viral photos.

A Pattaya “sea walking” operator was arrested for lacking a license following viral photos of divers touching and moving sensitive coral off Koh Larn.

Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa ordered Phuchong Sakritdeechaikul, director of Marine and Coastal Resources Administration Office 2, to check all sea walking operations off the Pattaya resort island after seeing the viral photos.



Inspectors couldn’t find the boat owner behind the photos, but did snag another operator found to be in the same business without a license: the Thor Popeye tour boat, anchored about 200 meters off Ta Yai Beach.

Inspectors found the Thor Popeye tour boat, anchored about 200 meters off Ta Yai Beach with about 20 tourists wearing weight belts and helmets with surface-supplied air to walk on the ocean bottom.



Officials did not reveal the name of the arrested owner or his company name.

About 20 tourists were wearing weight belts and helmets with surface-supplied air to walk on the ocean bottom.

Such operations have been criticized by scuba divers and marine conservationists for years, with both groups complaining that “sea walkers” step on animals and coral, touch sensitive marine life and damage the undersea ecosystem.

A Pattaya “sea walking” operator was arrested for lacking a license following viral photos of divers touching and moving sensitive coral and sea life off Koh Larn.



Such operations have been criticized by scuba divers and marine conservationists for years, with both groups complaining that “sea walkers” step on animals and coral, touch sensitive aquatic life and damage the undersea ecosystem.