http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-up ... 88352022fc
Two parasail operators fail safety checks in area where Aussie fell to his death
PARASAILING has resumed on the Thai beach where an Australian tourist fell to his death last week, but two operators in the area failed safety checks in the wake of the tragedy.
Parasail rides began again at Kata Beach in Phuket on Wednesday after checks by Royal Thai Army experts on Monday, according toThe Phuket News.
The review was ordered by Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong after prominent Perth businessman Roger Hussey plummeted to his death just after taking off on a parasail ride on July 13.
Footage of him somehow becoming loose from his harness just after lift-off and freefalling more than 30m into the sea was captured by his wife, Thai national Budsabong Thongsangka.
Mr Hussey’s died shortly after.
Boat driver Montien Jandaeng, 45, and parasail attendant Rungroj Rakcheep, 38, were charged with negligence resulting in the death of another person.
It’s believed his harness somehow failed. The instructor told police he told Mr Hussey before takeoff how to hold the clips, but on takeoff he let them go, and when he resumed his grip somehow the harness unclipped.
Lieutenant Suwisit Keereerak, from Karon police station, told AFP last week “the equipment was not up to standard and the parachute attendant failed to tell his victim to hold the ropes in the correct position”.
Maj Prasert Saythongtae, Chief of Special Warfare at Sichon Camp, Royal Army Region 4 in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, told The Phuket News two parasail operators failed Monday’s safety checks — one in Karon and the other in Patong.
“I found only one operator from Kata-Karon and one operator from Patong (that failed),” he told the publication.
He said he had made it clear that all parasail operators should use harness clips that include cloth fasteners that prevent clips from opening simply by pressing on the latches.
The operator at Karon was told to replace the harness clips used. The operator at Patong was told to replace the parasail chute as a precaution.
“They have changed these already, they’re not a problem.” Maj Prasert said.
He would not name the two operators who failed the tests, saying more information would be available after he filed his report.
He told operators they must use clips “guaranteed by the manufacturer for at least six months, and all equipment must be checked at least every six months”.
He said he would prefer the Army conduct the regular safety checks, but that would be up to the local Governor.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade data lists Thailand as one of the most dangerous destination for Australian visitors.
More than 320 Australians were injured or died in Thailand in 2016.