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Micro-chipped wristbands for boat passengers, pier safety increased ready for Phuket high season

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong has revealed plans to distribute mandatory micro-chipped wristbands for all passengers boarding boats in Phuket.

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By Premkamon Ketsara

Friday 10 November 2017, 10:13AM


He has also ordered pier safety management be increased as the island prepares to welcome in the new high season.

Gov Norraphat’s comments came during his ‘Governor Meet Press’ meeting held yesterday (Nov 9) at Phuket Provincial Hall.

Speaking at yesterday’s meeting, Gov Norraphat said, “Phuket City Municipality has joined with other agencies to create a plan to enhance the safety of tourists doing marine-based activities.

“They have decided that micro-chipped wristbands will be given to all people boarding boats at local piers before they travel to nearby islands because for Phuket City Municipality the safety of tourists is a priority,” said Gov Norraphat.

Visitor’s information such as their names, address, telephone number, accommodation and other details will be embedded into the chip before being given to the passenger to wear.

The chip will also have a GPS system to determine the location of the tourists. However, this is purely for tracking passengers in case of an accident or if a tourist gets lost at sea,” he said.

Tourists need to get to the piers early to register their details for the wristband before it is given to them to wear. It is for the safety of tourists themselves.

“It is expected that the wristbands will come at a cost of no more then B20 baht and we are discussing whether to let tourists keep them as a souvenir from Phuket, or if they will be recycled for further use,” said Gov Norraphat

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However, it was not said whether the cost of the wristband will be covered by the tourists themselves or whether they would be provided for free.

Gov Norraphat did also not elaborate on whether the wristbands would be given to passengers treavelling from other islands to Phuket.

Meanwhile, Gov Norraphat also pointed out that pier safety management around the island be increased ready for the coming high season.

There are four major piers in Phuket; Rassada, Chalong, Ao Po and Royal Phuket Marina and also many private ones that the provincial authority are trying to manage.

Gov Norraphat said,“The facilities of the boats, ferries, and other marine transportation including life jackets, fire extinguishers and the ability of the drivers all have to be to the standard of the Marine Department.

“The communication between the boats out at sea and the piers and the GPS systems used to locate the boats need to be in use so that they can be tracked in case of an emergency. Also, there needs to be officers on duty on the weekends as well,” he said.

“The piers that fall under the jurisdiction of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (OrBorJor) are Rassada Pier and Chalong Pier, and we are improving the safety and the service at these piers for tourists. We are also going to set up more CCTV cameras with software to scan the faces of tourist, officers and boat crew members,” he added.

Additional reporting by Panida Bunditboworn.

 

 

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Capt B | 11 November 2017 - 10:04:42

With no disrespect to the Governor or The Phuket Marine Department;

All of these commercial vessels carrying fare paying passengers should already have a 406 MHz EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) that should be registered with the SAR (Search & Rescue) department in Bangkok already fitted.
When a Beacon is registered by the owner with the SAR department, the owner will pro...

CaptainJack69 | 11 November 2017 - 02:50:58

Is it April fools day already?

This is just as bonkers as the plan to force tourists to use "special" SIM cards in their phones so the good old government can track their every move. Haven't heard anything about that for a while either...

Also, what kind of micro-chip does the governor think they're going to put in these wrist bands that can be tracked by GPS without a batt...

Asterix | 10 November 2017 - 18:35:21

I don't think local folks and tour boats will accept the new regulation easily to make compulsory micro-chipped wristbands to all their customers boarding their tour boats for different reasons:
1/- Tour companies ferrying a lot ot tourists by hundreds and some of them by thousands (Chinese and so on...), and they will not want to have to pay 20 Baht per day and per customers.
2/- TAT and Re...

BenPendejo | 10 November 2017 - 13:24:50

Hahaha...this is great idea...NOT!  Watch, this nonsense will fade away within a couple weeks.  And you got to love the "...the safety of tourists is a priority,” said Gov Norraphat".  So they distribute wristbands so they can find the dead tourists after some incompetent drunk boat operator overloads his craft in heavy weather and gets hit by some other poorly maintained and overloade...

Kurt | 10 November 2017 - 10:31:21

I miss here a 'starting point'!
It all starts with safe boats and well trained and certified boat crews.
And we know they are not! All accidents at sea prove that.
Lately accidents at sea happened because the thai boat drivers ( they are no captains!) didn't follow advised to stay ashore because of turbulent weather situations.
We all know these plywood boats are not seaworthy.

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