The Phuket marine office has begun re-enforcing a ban on jet skis, jet ski hires and parasail boat rides in the waters off Surin Beach, Phuket.
This area has been designated as “off-limits” for all motorised marine sports activities due to complaints of jet skis and parasail boats operating too close to the beach and posing a danger to tourists, and some of the scams connected to both rides.
On Friday, Phuket marine officials were sent to the beach fronting Choengtalay sub-district to investigate the vendors and their operations. They discovered five jet skis and one parasail boat off the beach and summoned their owners for questioning and examination of their operating licenses.
The jet skis were found to have licenses to operate off Bang Tao Beach only, while the parasail boat was permitted to operate in the sea off Kamala Beach, several kilometres south of Surin Beach. All the operators were found to be in violation of the off-limits zone at Surin beach and were fined 10,000 baht each.
The Phuket provincial HQ wants to ensure that Surin Beach is free from all marine sports activities so that the public can safely swim in the sea without fear of harm from jet skis or motor boats.
Surin Beach was cleared of most of the commercial activity and development involving restaurants, bars and clubs that sprung up in the 2000s and early 2010s. In 2014, not long after the Thai military seized power from the elected Yingluck Shinawatra government, they moved in on the illegal establishment of venues over the past decade. And they did so with force, bringing in bulldozers and heavy equipment to remove the structures within a few days.
Surin Beach is also a ‘special’ beach in the minds of Thai people as it was visited by King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit on March 11, 1959. His Majesty memorialised some of the visit by filming some of the moments, including a meeting with sea gypsies, on his own movie camera.
SOURCE: Thai PBS World