Thailand’s Marine Department has announced progress made in improving Phuket’s tour boat safety with the aim to enhance the standard of marine tourism in the country and to assure confidence among tourists that the necessary measures are moving forward.
The Marine Department has assigned 26 more officers at every port and pier in Phuket to perform checks on boats and passengers heading out on sea excursions. It is also in the process of deploying more officers at other Thai resort destinations.
In addition, a new regulation has been announced to be enforced in time for this coming high season – all tour boats will be checked twice a month, up from once a month, to ensure the equipment on board and the crew meet safety regulations.
The regular check involves the equipment placed inside the boats and the equipment on board that must be ready to be deployed in case of emergency. The captain and helmsman must register each boat’s name and specification, plus the exact number of passengers and tour route must be submitted to the responsible officials before leaving port each time.
Each and every individual passenger must be checked to ensure there is a viable record to identify them by face including information; such as, both their given name and surname, nationality, where they stay and their next point of embarkation.
Tour guides must also be checked in accordance with the law. In addition, no tour boat of any type shall be allowed to sail in heavy weather. Thai boat operators will be swiftly punished with the maximum penalty that the law affords if found in violation of the rules and regulations related to marine tourism. This is effective immediately. The Marine Department’s latest action is part of the overall plans by the Thai government to step up marine safety and to help boost the confidence among local and international tourists