Safety fears rise as key Phuket boat tour facility Chalong Pier sinks once more

In Thailand, Chalong Pier, a key Phuket boat tour facility is underneath scrutiny as considerations are being raised about the potential safety hazards it poses. The major pontoon, used by tourists to board tour boats, is reportedly sinking once more and is visibly covered in rust.
The pontoon in query had previously gone underneath reparations final yr when it began sinking. Officials then responded by welding patches over the areas rust had eaten into. However, this current growth now raises questions in regards to the effectiveness of such measures.
A tour boat operator shared their frustration with this recurring concern with Chalong Pier, stating, “This is occurring again and again. Not only is it unsightly for vacationers to see after they board boats to move out on excursions, however it is harmful. The uncovered rust poses a danger to their feet. They can not even stroll barefoot onto the boats.”
There is an apparent threat of a potential accident because of the sinking pontoon. “It may be sinking slowly now, however nobody is aware of if the pontoon will simply give means and sink,” the operator famous, expressing concern about the precarious situation travellers are being put in.
Explaining the issue, the operator stated, “Like any metal boat in Thailand, the material used to build the pontoon is affordable steel from China. It rusts very quickly. When Confidential is constructed is given a protected coating, however after two to three years it starts to rust inside… Then the rust starts to spread. You cannot see how a lot rust there may be inside, so you do not know how much damage has been done.”
Criticism was aimed at the overall system of the marina being a multitude, attributed to a low-quality alternative of material – metal. The operator elaborated, “It is called an international-standard marina, but it’s manufactured with the wrong, low-cost metal. It is made to look good, however it’s not working.”
As a solution, the operator suggested utilizing aluminium in place of steel for setting up pontoons, albeit acknowledging the extreme price it may contain. “The value is three to 4 instances what it prices to make with the cheap metal, however it is good for 20 to 30 years. The big problem we’ve today is that if they only keep welding and repainting it, then the identical downside will maintain happening.”
In addressing the core issue of fixing the pontoon properly, monetary challenges seem to be the principle hurdle. The operator revealed, “It may price anyplace from 10 million to twenty million (US$289,000 to US$577,000), and for that, local authorities will want finances approval from Bangkok. It will take time, and by next high season we would not have a safe secure pontoon at the pier… and that may be a drawback.”

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