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Phuket Tourist Forced To Pay 180,000 Baht In Jet-Ski Repairs


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Phuket tourist forced to pay 180,000 baht in jet-ski repairs

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The tourists negotiating the damages to be paid to the jet-ski operator.

The American suffered a broken leg after falling off the jet-ski, which crashed onto rocks.

PHUKET: A group of foreign tourists enjoying the Songkran festival in Phuket found out the hard way that the much maligned jet-ski insurance scheme doesn’t cover all repair costs if a jet-ski is badly damaged.

After negotiations with police and the jet-ski owner, British national Nicola Ross Morton agreed to pay an astounding 180,000 baht for damages to a jet-ski he rented out from an operator at Loma Park in Patong on April 13.

Mr Morton was among three tourists who rented jet-skis from 54-year-old Sucha Petnuan-ong, Patong Police officer Somsak Nguanson told the Gazette on Monday.

The three paid 1,000 baht each for 30-minute rides, he said.

Mr Morton’s machine first collided with another jet-ski ridden by 31-year-old American Christine Marie Gordon before crashing into a rocky shoreline outcrop off the coast of Kamala, he said.

Ms Gordon’s jet-ski was only slightly damaged, but the entire fiberglass front end of Mr Morton’s craft was torn apart by the impact and its engine was almost completely dislodged.

Mr Morton was injured in the crash, suffering a broken leg according to a British woman who was riding with him at the time.

Patong Police described his injuries as “minor”, however.

Ms Gordon went to Patong Police Station the following day to negotiate a settlement for both parties, who assumed the cost of repairs would be covered by the insurance agreement they signed upon renting out the jet-skis.

Patong Police called in a mechanic who estimated the total cost of repairs for both jet-skis at 320,000 baht – far more than the maximum 50,000 baht in damage coverage specified in the insurance agreement.

“I made a deal for the tourists by negotiating with the jet-ski owner that Mr Morton would pay 180,000 baht to him. They seemed happy with that,” the mechanic said.

Ms Gordon had to pay an additional 7,000 baht in damages: 3,000 baht for each of the two days the jet-ski would be out of service for repairs, plus a 1,000 baht deductible charge for the damages.

“The lessee must pay 3,000 baht per day for loss of income to the lessor up to a total of 15,000 baht,” he read from the insurance agreement.

Sucha Petnuan-ong, the 54-year-old jet-ski owner, told Gazette last week that the cost of repairing the machine would be almost as much as buying a new one.

The native of Songkhla province said he bought the jet-ski over three years ago for over 300,000 baht.

“I will be at an absolute loss as a new jet-ski chassis alone is about 270,000 baht. I will buy the new chassis and fix the engine, but I don’t know how much that will cost me. It will take over a month,” he said.

Mr Sucha, who has been operating jet-skis for over 30 years, also has two boats.

“I also had to pay other expenses, such as the cost of recovering the damaged jet-ski and towing it back to Patong, which took two hours. I also have my employees’ salaries to pay,” he said.

“I am also losing rental income that I need to feed my family. I think I will have to take out a bank loan to cover all the repair costs,” he said.

The Gazette tried to contact Mr Morton and Ms Gordon, but they had already checked out of their room at the Boat Lagoon Hotel.

A video clip of the British woman who was operating the jet-ski at the time told local journalist GrantPhuket that they simply fell off the jet-ski, which should have stopped automatically.

Rather, the jet-ski continued at full speed until it crashed into the cliff, she said.

“I fell off and the jet-ski kept going. Normally the key comes out and it stops. Now they are trying to tell me that I caused that. I keep telling them that if I had been on [the craft] I would be dead right now – look at the state of it!” she said.

VIDEO: To view the video clip, click here

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-- Phuket Gazette 2011-04-20

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Well, yeah... at least this one doesn't sound like a scam... Right, they fell off but did they have the safety band tied around their wrist that was supposed to pull the key off and shut off the engine? I guess we will never know all the details as here in LOS I never heard of any sort of proper investigation to find all the truth. We will never know if the tourist failed to use the safety feature of if it was mulfunctioning.

One thing I am sure - the machine didn't keep going at a full speed after they fall off. That would indicate a stuck throttle and they would have discovered it as soon as they get on the machine. So EVEN IF the safety device mulfantioned, the speed of the machine would have dropped significantly after they "fell off". If it kept going at the full speed towards the rocks, it means they were flying towards the rocks like retards and they "fell off" in the last second...

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the machine didn't keep going at a full speed after they fall off. That would indicate a stuck throttle and they would have discovered it as soon as they get on the machine. So EVEN IF the safety device mulfantioned, the speed of the machine would have dropped significantly after they "fell off". If it kept going at the full speed towards the rocks, it means they were flying towards the rocks like retards and they "fell off" in the last second...

Bullshit, have you ever ridden something that "stuck a throttle", I have and it was my old suzuki Hayate, I drove all the way to work on the particular morning it happened (23km in total) and it was fine up until the last set of traffic lights where I eased off the throttle only to discover it was not slowing down (from 80km/h) I shut it down via the key and then re-started it and it was fine, into work and pulled the cable to find one frayed strand on the inner with some corrosion, was a common thing on the first release Hayate's.new cable was 120b.

BTW a stuck throttle will not over-ride the kill switch (key pulled from dislodged rider) as this kills the power to the coils.no spark equals no go.

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would have thought the MANDATORY insurance that all rental items in Thailand require would have covered this

Did anyone "Police" ask for the Jet Ski policy and operators licence (which is a mariners licence in Thailand)....guess not :o

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I think the shady bit in all of this is the compensation the operator expects. There's risk in everything and he should have insurance to cover incidents like this. The customer should not bear the burden of compensating him for loss of business and the cost of repairs. That's where it's going too far in my opinion.

Edited by steffi
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I guess there is no disputing this scratch. Lucky it was not one of JJ's or the bill would have been millions and your 1st born for this scratch. Why don't operators have insurance covering the ski's as well as injuries. (public liability) Is the law in Australia. Anyway looks like the yank has to pay up on this one.

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who is still renting jets skis in Phuket??

Right!!

My thoughts too.

If you don rent one, you wont have a problem.

it's not the police's responsibility to weed out corruption. this is clearly the fault of the tourist. u live in a twisted world.

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who is still renting jets skis in Phuket??

Right!!

My thoughts too.

If you don rent one, you wont have a problem.

Yeah, cause they knew that.

Jet ski man should be told to go back to Songkla and take his jet ski with him.

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Well, yeah... at least this one doesn't sound like a scam... Right, they fell off but did they have the safety band tied around their wrist that was supposed to pull the key off and shut off the engine? I guess we will never know all the details as here in LOS I never heard of any sort of proper investigation to find all the truth. We will never know if the tourist failed to use the safety feature of if it was mulfunctioning.

One thing I am sure - the machine didn't keep going at a full speed after they fall off. That would indicate a stuck throttle and they would have discovered it as soon as they get on the machine. So EVEN IF the safety device mulfantioned, the speed of the machine would have dropped significantly after they "fell off". If it kept going at the full speed towards the rocks, it means they were flying towards the rocks like retards and they "fell off" in the last second...

Well yeah it does.... Anywhere else but Thailand they (the opertaors) would have been up for a huge PUBLIC LIABILITY suit!

"Why didn't it stop?",..."we don't know about that"... the opeartor couldn't care less that he is renting out faulty equipment. The jet ski should have a safety cord so that if the rider falls off it stops. Imagine if this jet ski mowed over swimmers! What then! We don't know about that... Lock the prick up..

and be of all...."I am also losing rental income that I need to feed my family. I think I will have to take out a bank loan to cover all the repair costs," he said. ..... more like to pay of the cops!

Sorry but THAILAND you have lost the plot!

Edited by jboras
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broken leg is minor?............

from those pics above, it's severe damage though .............

but Only 25-30 % of the front part........ a bit unfair.....

the Chassis . .... I don't have a clue... Maybe it's hard to get one for the replacement.............

to get it,the whole jet-ski fixed i don't think it 'd be as much as B180,000.

If i were them, I won't pay that much ............. try and ask them to make sense.....

............. they shouldn't rent a jet-ski ....in Thailand though....

this type of business is crap.................. even in Pattaya.......... Sad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:(

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Gosh, these fiber glass encased motors with a seat on them sure are expensive to repair. Of course the one in this post looks like it was possibly totaled. But hey, give a Thai some duct tape, silicone, and a hammer (and some fiber glass in this case) and they can repair anything (not that it will last).

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