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Phuripat Theerakulpisut, director of the Phuket Marine Office announced on Tuesday (April 21) that the days of extortion by jetski operators are over.
“Now there are zero problems from the jet-skis, since we brought in jet-ski management. We have set clear zones for jet-skis on the beaches.”
He was speaking at a meeting between officials and the island’s honorary consuls at the Phuket Garden Hotel.
None of the honorary consuls had reports to deliver of extortion by jet-ski operators, but two voiced concerns about safety.
Seven Smulders, Honorary Consul for the Netherlands said that the B15,000 insurance cover that jet-ski owners must now carry is not high enough to cover all possible costs.
He proposed that tourists should be given the choice of paying more for extra insurance coverage, with the amount being scaled depending on how long they hire a jet-ski for.
Mr Smulders said that since most tourists do not bother to read the conditions in the hire contract, other ways must be devised to solve problems when they arise.
The tourists have to understand the risks of riding a jet-ski, and both they and the operators should understand how much they may have to pay in case of an accident, above and beyond the insurance.
French honorary consul Claude de Crissey, proposed that, apart from buoyancy vests, those using jetskis should be required to wear additional safety equipment such as helmets and gloves.
Mr Phuripat said, “We have four languages in the contract – English, Thai, Russian, and Chinese. But I would like the Honorary Consuls to tell their nationals that this is an ‘exciting’ activity, so they need to be aware and be prepared for the risks.”