The Phuket News August 23, 2019

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THEPHUKETNEWS.COMFRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2019thephuketnews thephuketnews1 thephuketnews.com Friday, August 23 – Thursday, August 29, 2019Since 2011 / Volume IX / No.…
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THEPHUKETNEWS.COMFRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2019thephuketnews thephuketnews1 thephuketnews.com Friday, August 23 – Thursday, August 29, 2019Since 2011 / Volume IX / No. 34LEGACY PHOENIX OWNER LOOKS TO RESTORE, SINK WRECK > PAGE 220 BahtNEWSPAGE 3MP Sira returns fire after condo death threatsLIFEPAGE 11Life gets a taste of the Taiwan capital, Taipei A lifeguard watches over tourists at Patong Beach while wearing a black armband as a mark of respect after the death of Phuket lifeguard founder Prathaiyuth Chuayuan last Friday (Aug 16). Photo: Tanyaluk SakootLIFEGUARD ‘FOUNDER’ DREAM FOR WATER SAFETY TO BECOME STANDARD EDUCATION CLOSER TO REALITY Tanyaluk Sakoot reporter2@classactmedia.co.thPhuket’s core contingent of lifeguards this week vowed to carry on the work of “founding father” Prathaiyuth Chuayaun in the hope of realising his dream of swimming and surf survival skills becoming a standard element of young children’s education. Mr Prathaiyuth passed away after a heart attack last Friday morning (Aug 16). He was 57. Funeral services for him were held at Wat Suwankhiriwong (Wat Patong), with his cremation heldat the Laem Petch temple opposite Loma Park on the Patong beachfront on Wednesday (Aug 21). Mr Prathaiyuth, better known just as “P’ Nut”, helped to develop Phuket’s first beach lifeguards some 20 years ago and drove them to achieve international certification and even compete in international lifesaving events. Patong Chief Lifeguard Somprasong Sangchart worked alongside Mr Prathaiyuth for years as one of the key members of the Phuket Lifeguard Service, which for more than a decade provided trained, experienced at 12 of the key touristbeaches along Phuket’s west coast. “Prathaiyuth was determined in his goal to teach life saving and drowning prevention to people. He always helped to teach, train and support new lifeguards, even lifeguards in Thailand do not get the same pay as lifeguards abroad. “He is my inspiration for being a lifeguard. He will be honoured as my teacher forever.” Yet Mr Prathaiyuth’s true legacy may be on the verge of becoming something much greater than ever anticipated. The Office of the Basic Education Commission (Obec), under theCONTINUED ON PAGE 2@thephuketnewsMinistry of Education, is currently reviewing a training manual from the Phuket Lifeguard Service (PLS), founded by Mr Prathaiyuth and his wife Ms Witanya, to be used to teach water safety and survival skills to all students in the country from primary school to high school as standard, required education. “The Office of the Basic Education Commission is very interested in what the Phuket Lifeguard Service is doing, and life saving and drowning prevention skills may well be officially added to the education system soon,” Ms Witanya said. “We currently conduct lifesaving…SPORTPAGE 32Misfit Morgan shows class with centuryNews 2PHUKET NEWSTHEPHUKETNEWS.COMexeceditor@classactmedia.co.thFRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2019Patong beach road to close for cable burying > p5Lifeguard founder honoured Continued from page 1 ...courses for students in schools and at universities in Bangkok and nearby provinces, and we plan to soon hold lifesaving and drowning prevention classes at local schools in Phuket,” she added. The PLS has long conducted an ongoing series of water safety and lifesaving classes for young children in Patong – free, and open to any children who want to take part. “The PLS has not stopped. We continue to train and recruit lifeguards,” Ms Witanya said. “P’ Nut needed people to learn water safety, to make people at beaches more aware of the dangers, especially Phuket people and tourists. And now surf lifesaving has become popular and well known nationwide, and especially in Phuket,” she added. In the footsteps of Mr Prathaiyuth’s drive for excellence, the Sports Authority of Thailand will be supporting the “Lifesaving Thailand Championship” competition to be held in Phuket next year, Ms Witanya explained. “The purpose of this competition is to select the national Thai lifesaving team to join the Lifesaving World Championships of 2020 in Riccione, Italy,” she noted. “We have about six people who are the main lifeguards who run the PLS. We have encountered lots of obstaclesJulie Bishop (centre, black jacket), Australian Foreign Affairs Minister in 2017, is flanked by Prathaiyuth Chuayuan and his wife Ms Witanaya at an event at Patong Beach. Photo: Phuket Lifeguard Service along the way, but we won’t give up. We are moving together toward our goal. Sometimes we might move slowly, other times quickly, but we won’t stop working towards our dream,” Ms Witanya said. Working with Australians David Field and Jayne MacDougall, Mr Prathaiyuth drove to improve the skills of the handful of volunteer lifeguards Phuket had some 20 years ago through training sessions from professional lifesavers visiting from Australia. The lifeguard training programme blossomed, inspiring many local Thai “beachboys” to join their ranks to help save lives – mostly of tourists – in Phuket’s dangerous low season surf from May through October each year. Mr Prathaiyuth and Ms Witanya for years together operated Phuket Lifeguards Service Co Ltd, which provided lifeguards all along Phuket’s west coast under a government concession offered through the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor). Then the PLS encountered a critical hurdle. The PPAO arrangement ended in Sept 2017 after Mr Prathaiyuth onbehalf of the PLS refused to accept the terms offered by the PPAO, which for the third consecutive year had refused to increase the budget to be provided in order to provide qualified, experienced lifeguards on Phuket’s beaches. The PPAO had even slashed the budget by 10%. The salaries to be paid to lifeguards was not commensurate with them risking their lives, and the budget provided would not allow for the modern, functioning equipment needed by lifeguards to carry out rescues, Mr Prathaiyuth explained.Instead, the lack of proper equipment would only endanger the lives of the lifeguards themselves, he added. With no other operators willing to take up the role of providing lifeguards under the contract offered, Phuket’s system of lifeguard protection at the beaches fell into disarray. The Phuket Governor at the time, Norraphat Plodthong, over-ordered the stance by PPAO Acting Chief Watcharin Pathomwattanapong and mandated that all local municipalities and administrations organise lifeguardpatrols for beaches in their own respective areas. Patong Mayor Chalerm­ luck Kebsup wasted no time in making sure that Mr Prathaiyuth and his team of qualified, trained lifeguards were hired to ensure lifeguard patrols on Phuket’s busiest tourist beach, Patong. Mr Prathaiyuth leaves Phuket not just with a legacy of essential lifesaving beach guards, but also a long-standing programme of teaching children essential surf survival skills and lifesaving techniques, including basic CPR. As recently as last week Mr Prathaiyuth led a junior surf lifesaving course, and earlier this month led yet another lifeguard training intensive to ensure their skills were honed and up-to-date. Volunteers were, and remain, always welcome. Daren Jenner, the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA) Marine Safety Officer for Phuket, expressed his sincerest condolences to Mr Prathaiyuth’s friends and family. “I had many good conversations with him over the years. He was a good-hearted man who did his best in difficult and changing circumstances,” Mr Jenner said. “A very big loss for Phuket and the lifesaving community here. ISLA sends our deepest respect for his long commitment to ocean safety in SE Asia.”Phoenix owner aims to restore wreck, return to sea floor T H E PH U K ET M A N W HO bought the wreck of the fateful Phuket tour boat Phoenix at auction earlier this month aims to restore the boat and then sink it at the same location where it fell beneath the waves in July last year, killing 47 Chinese tourists, as a way of making merit. Preecha Jaiart, who operates the Truck2hand.com website for selling secondhand heavy vehicles, including trucks, buses, vans and boats, conducted several meritmaking ceremonies on the boat at Rattanachai Shipyard on the east side of Phuket Town on Thursday last week (Aug 15). Mr Preecha bought the salvaged wreck for B905,000 at an auctionheld in Phuket on Aug 7. The boat was finally sold after several attempts by the Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo), which has been tasked with disposing of the state-seized asset since police investigators completed their inspections last year into the operations of the former owner for operating illegally. “Lots of people have asked why I bought the Phoenix,” Mr Preecha said. “I am a Phuket person and a Thai citizen. I feel deeply saddened as many people lost their lives in the tragic accident,” he added. “Those who died from the tragic boat sinking were tourists who travelled to my hometownand unfortunately have to be here forever. I want to try my best to take care of them,” he said. “Next, I want to restore the Phoenix to be good condition like it used to be, and return it back to the sea where the boat lay on the seabed. If possible, I also want to invite (Deputy Prime Minister) Mr Prawit Wongsuwan to preside over the ceremony to return the boat to the sea,” Mr Preecha explained. Asked why he would want to restore the boat and then sink it again, Mr Preecha simply replied, “It just feels like the right thing to do.” Mr Preecha is now encountering a wall of bureaucracy in fulfilling his wish.“The process to do that is not easy. I am talking with with the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR), the Phuket Provincial Environment Office and the Phuket Marine Office. “It is proving very difficult and complicated, but I assure you that I won’t break the boat down and sell its parts as other merchants would. My true aim is that I want Chinese people to know that Thai people love them like our close family members.” he said. Mr Preecha added that he was open to other ideas of what to do with the Phoenix. “I still need feedback about my idea. Please post your comments on whether you think it is appropriatePreecha Jaiart, who bought the Phoenix wreck at auction earlier this month, aims to restore the boat and send her back to bottom of the sea. Photo: Preecha Jaiart or not. Or if you have a better idea, please let me know,” he said. Mr Preecha invited people to post their comments on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook. com/preecha.phuket Tanyaluk Sakoot thephuketnewsTHEPHUKETNEWS.COMFRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2019MP returns fire over condo death threatsPHUKET NEWS3The Phuket News editor@classactmedia.co.thAfter going public late last week about receiving death threats over The Peaks Residences condo project under construction at Kata Noi, Palang Pracharath Party MP Sira Jenjara arrived in Phuket in person last Sunday (Aug 18) to launch his own reprisal. MP Sira last Sunday attended a protest by local residents against the project, and on Monday at Phuket Provincial Hall assured the press that he will push to prosecute any officials found involved in allowing the project to be built on protected forest land. Top of Mr Sira’s agenda was a meeting with Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana on Monday to explain that formal requests to investigate all officials, including the Governor himself, were to be filed with a host of agencies. “I will also go to Karon Municipality to ask about permission given for the construction, and go to the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Phuket office to check if there has been any progress in this case,” he said. “I will ask the Ministry of Interior why the Phuket Governor let this happen, and I will prosecute relevant officers who did wrong or ignored this case – even though I have received a death threat,” Mr Sira assured. At Provincial Hall on Monday, Mr Sira filed a formal complaint with the Damrongdhama Center (Provincial Ombudsman’s Office) calling for them to investigate The Peaks project for encroaching on protected forest land. In his complaint, Mr Sira also called on the Phuket Government to investigate the construction permit issuedAn autopsy found a 15cm-long stingray barb inside the adult dugong’s stomach. Photo: DMCRStingray barb kills dugong at RailayPalang Pracharath Party MP Sira Jenjara (left) with Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana on Monday (Aug 19). Photo: PR Dept and whether the construction is continuing as written in the permit. Mr Sira also requested that if any wrongdoing is found, for the government to order all work at the site to stop and for the Karon Mayor to be removed from office and the contractor to leave the area so that the investigation can be transparent. Mr Sira levelled a barrage of heavy criticism at Phuket officials for allowing the project to continue. “The complaint that I filed today will also be filed to the Ministry of Justice to be considered as a special case on Aug 21,” Mr Sira told Governor Phakaphong. “Additionally, I will also file a request to the Department of Rights and Liberties Protection for protection,” he added. “I will also file a request with the Anti Money Laundering Office (Amlo) to investigate the properties owned by and any financial transactions involving any officers related tothis project,” Mr Sira promised Gov Phakaphong. Mr Sira on Monday pointed out that the project was receiving attention from the highest levels. “Gen Prawit Wongsuwan called to ask me about this,” he said. Governor Phakaphong pointed out that on Aug 16 he had ordered for an investigation committee, led by Vice Governor Supoj Rotreuang Na Nongkhai, to be set up to investigate the project. “We will know the investigation result within 30 days. The Phuket Government pays attention to the accuracy and fairness for everyone,” Governor Phakaphong said. During a heated discussion with Mr Sira at Provincial Hall on Monday, Karon Mayor Tawee defended the actions by his office. “Karon Municipality and relevant officials permitted the construction as all the required documents, which are legally accurate, had been filed,” he said. “However, on Aug 13,Police investigate alleged electrocution POLICE AR E WAITING for a post-mortem examination by Forensic Police in Bangkok to confirm whether or not 45-year-old Dutch tourist Herdri Henrikus Hermannes Vos (as named by police) was killed by electrocution after touching a pool-side steel fence at a resort near Phuket International Airport. The examination by Forensic Police came at the request of Mr Herdri’s widow after doctors at Thalang Hospital were unable to provide a con@thephuketnewsThe poolside fence where the Dutch tourist was allegedly electrocuted. Photo: Sakoo Police firmed cause of death, Lt Col Bandasak Srilert of the Sakoo Police told The Phuket News. Mr Herdri and his son were swimming in the poolat Marina Express Aviator Hotel at about 6pm on Aug 8 when Mr Herdri grabbed the fence and then screamed out in pain before collapsing into the pool, hitting his head on a submerged wall separating the child and adult sections of the pool, Col Bandasak explained. Officials from the Provincial Electricity Authority inspected the site but were unable to see how the fence could have become electrified. The Phuket Newsthere was a complaint about a landslide which negatively affected local residents, so on Aug 16 we ordered the construction to be suspended and for those who are responsible for the project to ‘manage the environmental impact’ (sic) of the project,” Mayor Tawee said. Manassanan Nararattanawee, the CEO of Kata Beach Co Ltd, as the owner of The Peaks Residence, at a press conference on Wednesday (Aug 21) assured that all dealings regarding the purchase of the land were lawful. He admitted that the company had only a NorSor 3 Kor land-use document issued for the land, despite the law requiring a Chanote to be issued before condo units may be built and sold on the property. While pointing out that halting construction was causing harm to the project, he also said the company was waiting for the Supreme Administrative Court to rule on its appeal to overturn a lower Administrative Court ruling that the NorSor 3 Kor be revoked.A MATURE MALE DUgong found dead off Ton Sai Beach in Krabi last Sunday (Aug 18) was killed by a stingray barb, reports Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) Chief Kongkiat Kittiwatanawong. The body of the dugong, estimated to be about 25 years old, was brought ashore and taken to the PMBC last Sunday in the hope of determining what caused its death, as marine experts noted that the fully-grown adult male appeared to be in perfect health other than some bruises at the base of its front flippers. An autopsy on the dugong’s remains conducted at the PMBC discovered that the dugong had suffered a puncture to its belly, Dr Kongiat told The Phuket News on Tuesday (Aug 20). “It was a wound and officers found a 15 centimetrelong stingray barb inside the dugong’s stomach,” he said. “The barb had pierced through the skin to the small intestine and stomach. Inside of the small intestine was inf lammation. That led to an infection in the dugong’s abdomen,” he added. “Lymph nodes all throughout the body had responded to the infection. There was bloating of the stomach and the remains of some food left in the stomach,” Dr Kongkiat explained. “We believe that the cause of death is infection from the stingray barb,” he concluded.Dr Kongkiat pointed out that the male dugong was the 16th to be found dead along the Andaman Coast this year, with the toll standing as: two in Phang Nga, eight in Trang, five in Krabi and one in Satun. Dr Kongkiat just last month raised the alarm over the mounting number of dugong deaths after two more were found dead, bringing the number of dugongs found dead to five in just four months. The news followed Mariam, the 8-month-old dugong rescued from Koh Libong in Trang in June that endeared the heart of the nation with her recovery broadcast 24 hours a day on Facebook, dying last Saturday (Aug 17) after months of care. Mariam died three days after she was taken from the sea and placed in a nursery tank, over concerns for her safety, ahead of torrential rain and rough seas forecast for the Andaman Sea. Officials reported that Mariam died of shock and other reasons, including several pieces of plastic found in her intestine, which respected marine expert Dr Thon Thamrongnawasawat said ultimately led to an infection that caused her death. Her remains will be preserved and put on display at the Phuket Aquarium, operated by the PMBC, “for education purposes”, reports the Department of Marine and Coastal Resources (DMCR). Tanyaluk Sakoot4PHUKET NEWSTHEPHUKETNEWS.COMFRIDAY, AUGUST 23, 2019PHUKET SEVEN DAY WEATHER FORECASTThe Phuket News offers flexible advertising options both online and in print.www.foreca.comFRI AUG 23SAT AUG 24SUN AUG 25MON AUG 26TUE AUG 27WED AUG 28THU AUG 29High:  +33° Low:  +25°High:  +33° Low:  +26°High:  +32° Low:  +25°High:  +32° Low:  +25°High:  +30° Low:  +26°High:  +32° Low:  +26°High:  +33° Low:  +26°Wind 2 m/sWind 2 m/sWind 2 m/sWind 2 m/sWind 2 m/sWind 2 m/sWind 2 m/sNACC raps land probes Deputy Sec-Gen calls for more reports on land grabs The Phuket News editor@classactmedia.co.thGENERAL MANAGERJason Beavan 086 479 7471gm@classactmedia.co.thSALES SUPPORT Siriporn (Nok) Seangmas 086 479 7470 sales@classactmedia.co.thNiwatchai Kasemmongkol, Deputy Secretary-General of the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC), was in Phuket last week to be briefed on the progress of investigations into people attempting to claim state land. Mr Niwatchai attended a meeting held at Provincial Hall last Thursday (Aug 15) for the briefing, and to call for officers to expedite their investigations. Mr Niwatchai also called on the public to report any suspected attempts to claim government land by reporting it through the NACC o
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