This is an interesting article from the Phuket gazette regarding the hoards of scammers working on the beaches and apparently not all legally. It really is about timer that something was done about this problem, but it is doubtful because the authorities are allegedly in on the scams.
Phuket Gazette –
Phuket’s daily carnival of swimmers, speedboats, jet-skis, cowboys… and lethal lawlessness
PHUKET: Given the events that have occurred at Phuket’s beaches in recent weeks, it is difficult to ascertain which is the greater maritime threat: natural phenomena such as the rough monsoon seas that claim the lives of scores of overconfident swimmers every year – or the juvenile carnival that gets underway when the winds subside and the beach business operators return to the water with the same recklessness that we suffer on our roads.
In the latest catastrophe, the holiday of Russian tourist Nikolai Nefedov came to a horrific end last Friday afternoon when he was struck off Kata Beach by the propeller of a speedboat used to tow airborne tourists under para-sails. (See front page story, current issue of the Phuket Gazette. Digital subscribers click here to download the full issue.)
The incident re-exposed long-standing problems with the behavior of the many cowboys who operate beach businesses on the island with little or no regulation, and with roughly the same amount of common sense.
Mr Nefedov was reportedly a strong swimmer who attempted to dive to safety when the terrifying boat came at him. While the dive may have saved his life, it did not spare him multiple fractures, deep cuts, bruises and a partially severed leg.
The fact that he was among a group of swimmers in shallow water clearly indicates that the speedboat failed to even use a spotter. Wittnesses said the boat operator was alone at the time of the incident, and that he hesitated before returning to assist the Russian aboard.
Then, after dropping his victim on the beach, he promptly fled the scene, as is common practice in road accidents here.
Writing from Russia, Mr Nefedov’s daughter Ilya contacted the Phuket Gazette to ask that we “trace the development of the incident in order to avoid similar accidents” in the future. Her message suggests disbelief that such an accident could happen here, and reveals a notion that it was a one-off, whereas it was, in fact, far from unique.
Sadly, this was not a case of breached safety protocols. At most popular Phuket beaches, the lack of clear markings as to where vessels can approach shore, coupled with an almost complete lack of oversight and enforcement of law, makes it difficult to believe that such accidents do not occur far more often than they do.
Although the law requires that boat operators – even jet-ski drivers – hold a Thai captain’s license, it is common knowledge that few do. And the regulations with regard to licensing and insurance are violated daily on a wholsale basis.
It is very important that the authorities now find and charge with negligence the operator of the speedboat that struck Mr Nefedov. It should not be difficult to find him as his colleauges at the beach know who he is.
Finally, it’s time for the marine police to come out of hiding. They need to switch allegiances to the public and begin to put teeth into the laws on boat safety and operator licensing – and to do so in the most visible manner possible. Without this, continued injuries and deaths at the beach are guaranteed.
You can see from my profile that I originally came from the Yorkshire in England. People often ask me why I moved here and what I like about living here,
I think that the thing that makes Thailand different from other countries is the people.They are generally very warm and open and always seem to have a smile for you, whatever the situation.
The climate is another main factor because it never really gets below 25C the whole year round. There is of course that rainy season, but a shower is often welcome to cool things down and they only last for about an hour a day.
Floating restaurant off Koh Samet.
Thai food of course is fantastic. There are so many choices from the traditionalThai dishes to the local area dishes. The thing that you have to be careful with is that there are so many spicy dishes and when I say spicy I mean very spicy. It’s often better to get some local advice when ordering and the Thais will usually oblige. The word for spicy in Thai language is ‘Phet’ and the word for no is ‘Mai;. So if you want to keep you taste buds intact always ask for ‘Mai Phet’. Not spicy.
If you live in Thailand what are your favourite things?
When you buy a car in Thailand it is delivered with red number plates to show that it s still to be registered. after one month the red plates will be replaced by white plates to show that the car is filly registered to the owner. There are some restrictions on driving a ‘red; plate car at certain times of the day and also outside the Province of purchase, so it’s good to get the white plates as soon as possible.
Mt car is now 3 months old and still has the red plates, so is a pain due to the above restrictions and the chance of eing stopped by the Thai Police and having to donate ‘tea money’ (bribe).
We have been trying to get the white plates since day 1 but have been told that there is apparently an aluminum shortage, so no plates are being issued. The plates are made in Thai prisons by the way, maybe that’s why the aluminum has gone missing mmm!
Anyway we got the call and our legal plates have arrived, so happy day and no more tea money to pay!