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Police say and combination of boat captain recklessness and bad weather conditions were to blame for the fatal boat collision off Phuket.
Region 8 Police Commander Maj Gen Tesa Siriwato held a meeting with police and officials at 8:20pm yesterday to provide an update on the investigation into the fatal collision between two speedboats that claimed the lives of two Chinese tourists and left many others injured, some seriously.
Maj Gen Tesa gave thanks to all those who helped directly following with the accident and said that officials were able to provide fast assistance because all departments were provided with clear and basic information about the incident such as the name of the boats, location, number of passengers and injury victims.
However, he added that from now on, tour boats will now face more in depth inspections before they are allowed to leave the piers because accidents like this happen too often and it is not good for the countries tourism image.
“I want Tourist Police to assist with providing information on rules, regulations and procedures to tourists to help us assure them that we will do whatever it takes to never let this happen again,” he said.
He added, “At this meeting we hope to find ways of preventing these boat accidents from happening. All departments have been ordered to strictly enforce the rules and regulations, especially when it comes to boats operators, tour boats inspections, enforcing the rule that all passengers and crew wear life jacket, and that operators communicate with the meteorology department to get up to date weather reports.
“However, i can confirm that in this case both speedboat operators will be charged with reckless operation of their boats and that the captains are being tested for drug,” he added.
Phuket Provincial Police Chief Col Teeraphol Thipjaroen, who also at the meeting said Phuket City Police questioned the captains and mechanics of the two speedboats at 7:45pm.
Officers also questioned injured tourists, 14 from Chonlakij and 13 from Hongfa.
“We learned that the two tour boats have insurance which will pay B500,000 compensation for any injuries sustained by the tourists injury victims, it will also pay B1 million to each of the deceased families,” he said.