The Tourist Police Division has waded into Pattaya’s chronic marine-safety problem, again promising things will get better if everyone works together.
Maj. Gen. Surachet Hakpan, commander of the Royal Thai Police division, chaired a June 6 meeting at Pattaya City Hall with rescue volunteers, scuba diving operators and parasailing, speedboat and jet ski vendors to try and improve accident prevention.
The meeting follows of a string of speedboat accidents, deadly collisions between boats and jet skis and, on June 4, the death of a Sri Lankan tourist during a failed parasailing trip.
Aloysius Nirmalarajan, 37, fell two minutes into his ride onto an anchored boat. The accident occurred because there was insufficient wind for the Siam Local Co. boat driven by Jamlong Yusawat, 48, to support the parasailer.
Innumerable meetings have been held in the past several years urging boat and marine sports operators to adhere to safety regulations and threat upon threat has been made to crack down and put scofflaws out of business. But the accidents continue unabated and few, if any, of the enforcement pledges have been kept.
With city hall, the Marine Department, Marine Police, Banglamung District and Chonburi Province all failed to bring safety to Pattaya’s waterfront, the Tourist Police Division is now giving it a try.
Officers played the business vendors a video with information and strategies to enforce safety measures. They also gave demonstrations of real-life scenarios of people encountering disaster and accidents at sea.
The most important factors mentioned were in three areas: Equipment must be maintained, operators must be present and experienced in the sport enough to prevent accidents, and operators must stick to areas deemed safe for their activities.
Most importantly, lecturers said, it is necessary that all organizations work together and do what it takes to prevent casualties by having more experienced operators ensure that all safety regulations are followed before any activities take place.
In addition, the Marine Department, Marine Police, Tourist Police and authorities must work together to enforce various measures and make sure that the same problems won’t occur again.
Regular inspections are to take place of jet skis, parasails, speedboats and other vehicles.
Surachet stressed the Pattaya needs to be safer. The latest accident took place because both parties didn’t know what they were doing, but did it anyway.
This is yet another incident to learn from and prevent happening again, he said.