Making the oversight worse is that divers from Koh Tao have been formally thanked.
To this, The Phuket News is happy to pass that message on to local officials by printing the message below sent to our offices this week – albeit anonymously, understandably to avoid the writer from being subjected to any negative attention by local officials, as history has so often proved is what local officials do best specifically for this segment of the expat community.
The message read:
I am concerned for the 50+ freelance instructors who dropped everything, gave their effort freely and had quite a traumatic experience and have received not even a thank you.
They deserve to be thanked, acknowledged at least as much as those that came from Koh Tao, who received certificates and commemorative coins of HM The King from their provincial Governor.
By the time Koh Tao Rescue got to Phuket the body recovery was complete. However, we do commend them for turning up.
It is nearly three weeks since the boat sank. I am sure the people who helped that day don’t expect rewards for their time, however a little acknowledgement might go a long way to soften the blow – they are suffering with the drop in tourists and lack of work as a result of this avoidable tragedy.
These are the same guys that are harassed by the police every year and arrested because of things like carrying a customer’s bags, the same people that live in fear of losing their work permits.
They broke the law. Nowhere in their work permit does it say search and recovery of dead bodies is part of their work description. Yet when asked by the Marine Police they did so freely because it was needed and nobody had the resources.
There is an obvious difference between how different local authorities value the input into the local community by foreigners who live here.
Unfortunately, this is part of a bigger issue of how local government treats foreigners that live and work in Phuket. Every year we see good people give up and leave Phuket because it is so obvious none of us are wanted here.