Tourist boats under scrutiny

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BANGKOK, 10 October 2018: Thailand’s Marine Department says it has assigned more officers to check boats at every port and pier on Phuket island.

It’s part of a campaign to tighten regulations for tourist boats and also improve marine security after a tragic boat accident that killed 46 Chinese tourists last July.

According to a report filed by the Tourism Authority of Thailand Newsroom, the Marine Department has assigned 26 more officers to visit 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 beach destinations across the country.

A new regulation, to be enforced ahead of the high season that gets underway this November, will ensure tour boats will be checked every two weeks to make certain boats and crew meet safety regulations.

Checks focus on safety equipment, the captain and helmsman’s qualifications and the registration status of the boat. Rules on maximum passengers that can be carried onboard will be enforced.

Individual passenger will be checked to ensure the boat manifesto is updated with a full passenger list with full contact details such as the hotel address. The rule also applies to tour guides.

The department said it would strictly enforce warnings to prevent tour boats from leaving port in heavy weather.

(Source: TAT Newsroom)

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