Para-troopers to train Phuket parasailing operators

Phuket � Paratroopers will be invited to train parasailing operators in an effort to step up safety measures after an Australian tourist plunged to his death while flying on a parasailing chute into the sea at Kata Beach on July 12.

Governor Norapat Plodthong called a meeting of agencies and officials concerned on Friday in the wake of the incident that killed Roger John Hussey, 71.

It was agreed at the meeting that paratroopers will be invited to train all 52 operators of parasailing services in the island province. The operators will be advised to set up a club or group in the form of a community enterprise so that they can be properly regulated regarding the launches of parasailing chutes, safety measures and deployments of lifeguards to ensure maximum security.

Moreover, all parasailing operators will be required to regularly check conditions of their equipment, boats, and chutes and use them properly to suit with the weights of individual flyers and the weather conditions.

On July 12, Roger John Hussey and his Thai wife Bussabong Thongsangka went to Kata Beach in tambon Karon of Phuket's Muang district. It was Hussey who took the parasailing flight while his wife waited on the beach.

About 20 seconds after taking off, the Australain fell into the sea from the height of about 70 metres. He was seriously injured and rushed to Patong Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police were investigating the incident. The operator and boat driver were initially charged with recklessness that caused the death.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)