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Phuket officials inspect floating beach club ahead of operating licence decision

PHOTO: Facebook/YONA Beach Club Phuket

Phuket’s floating beach club saga continues… Originally scheduled to open in 2020, a plan scuppered by the pandemic, the owners of Yona Beach Club are hopeful that permission to operate may soon be granted.

A report from the National News Bureau of Thailand says local officials have been inspecting the vessel, a ship converted into a “beach club” style entertainment venue. At the start of this year, provincial governor Narong Woonsiew put a stop to plans to launch a floating beach club off Phuket.

At the time, local officials claimed the vessel would cause environmental damage and create too much noise. They also stated that the vessel only had a permit to operate as a passenger vessel and did not have the appropriate licence to run food and beverage services.

However, the deputy director of the Phuket Maritime Enforcement Command Centre recently led an inspection of the vessel. According to the NNBT report, Krit Khlueapmat and his team checked the ship’s registration, structural integrity, safety features, waste disposal system, potential water pollution risks, and dropped anchor position. The latter checks were to ensure the anchor line would not damage coral reefs or obstruct maritime traffic.

Meanwhile, the provincial excise office is expected to carry out checks on the sale of alcohol and tobacco at the proposed club, while Phuket’s Labour Protection and Welfare office will oversee the issue of employment on board.

In what the owners will take as a positive sign, Krit says he believes the beach club is ready to open, but adds that it will only be given the green light once all relevant agencies are satisfied the vessel complies with requirements.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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