A 60-million baht project to install closed-circuit cameras on passenger ferries and at boat terminals on in Pattaya and Koh Larn is nearly ready to be turned on.
Launched in August, the plan to install cameras on 50 boats was to the trust of boat passengers who have been leery of Pattaya’s marine transport system due to a continuing string of sinkings and accidents that began several years ago and continued into last month.
Asia Traffic Technology and Service Co. is the company behind CCTV control and observation of vessel traffic to prevent accidents and enhance safety for passengers.
Four thermal cameras have been installed on the Pattaya side at the lighthouse on a 15-meter pole. Each one faces the sea to cover the entire bay and are able to zoom four kilometers with a 24-hour recording time.
The idea is to use the cameras to spot bodies in the water in case of an accident.
Six similar cameras were mounted on the Koh Larn side, at Samae Beach, the pier, Koh Larn Temple and at the Koh Larn Shooting Range. These cameras can detect heat signatures up to eight kilometers away.
The city is now trying to get cameras mounted on 50 boats, along with new radios. The cameras will monitor both operators and passengers to check, for example, if they are using life jackets, or for capturing the cause of an accident. Information will be recorded and sent to a traffic-control center.
At a May 25 meeting with business leaders and boat operators, Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh said footage from all the cameras will be sent to and monitored from a marine traffic direction control center.
He said installation of the hardware is finished. Now the challenge is to get the equipment on boats and train crews to use it properly.
The hope is that the system will better monitor boat traffic and improve use of proper sea lanes. Poorly marked lanes and careless drivers were blamed for two accidents last month.