New rules for scuba diving boats in Thailand to increase safety

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Natural Resources and Environment Minister Warawut Silpa-archa has introduced new safety measures that prohibit large commercial scuba diving vessels from getting too close to dive sites. The rule would only apply to national parks so far and would require large boats to stay 100 to 200 meters from dive sites.

Dive companies that offer diving by taking many clients on a large dive boat will need to transport their clients on a smaller boat or dinghy the last 100 meters to the dive site. Varawut said the propellers and motors of large ships are a danger to divers in the water and a nuisance to coral reefs and the creatures that inhabit them. He called on tourists to dive safely in Thailand with the new rules.

“I would like to inform you that all economic operators will be informed, and we invite tourists to travel to scuba dive to see the beauty of Thai sea during this New Year festival. Also help us to monitor the behavior of traders.

The new restrictions bring Thailand into line with the International Maritime Organization standard that requires all boats to keep at least 50 meters from any dive site and divers in the water. Many have said the new rules will make diving safer in Thailand with common sense regulations.

When divers complete their dives, they stop near the surface for a few minutes to decompress, so large vessels with large propellers cutting through the waters could be an extreme danger if allowed to pass so close to the water. dive points. Some have called for extending this new rule to speedboats for the same safety reason.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment implements the rule and sanctions with a system of 3 strikes. The first violation of the rule will result in an official warning and a fine of 5,000 baht. A repeat offense will raise the price of the fine to 20,000 baht and suspend the company’s boat operator’s license for 30 days. The third offense results in an even more drastic increase in the penalty, with a fine of 100,000 baht and the company’s boat license will be completely revoked.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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