Earlier this year in April, a tragedy occurred onboard the passenger ferry Ao Nang Princess 5. On its way to Phuket, the ferry burst into flames. Over 80 passengers and crew members were saved but sadly a 12 year old tourist lost her life when she became separated from her parents and was unable to escape.
This event has prompted Phuket Officials to implement a new rescue service in the area. Governor Nisit Jansomwong has confirmed that the Island’s first ever Fireboat will be arriving soon. The boat was approved in the 2016 fiscal year budget but a date has not yet been confirmed. Thirty million baht has been allocated to the budget for the thirty eight foot long fireboat and if all goes according to schedule, its emergency services should be available in October.
Governor Nisit Jansomwong stated that when the Fireboat arrives in Phuket it will be stationed at the end of Rassada Pier. He also added that such safety equipment is a necessity for the island in order to build up confidence amongst residents and tourists.
In recent years, Phuket has become a major regional maritime hub, on top of being a world-class tourist destination. Many plans have been made to promote maritime activities in the region, such as the abundance of yacht charters for boating enthusiasts. With the new Fireboat set to arrive soon, tourists and locals alike will be able to gain peace of mind when traveling across the seas.