Phuket marine safety goes hi-tech with 'smart pier'

Phuket marine safety goes hi-tech with 'smart pier'

Authorities demonstrate how to use a smart pier system at Visit Panwa pier in Phuket on Tuesday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)
Authorities demonstrate how to use a smart pier system at Visit Panwa pier in Phuket on Tuesday. (Photo: Achadthaya Chuenniran)

Phuket is ready to roll out "smart piers" to promote Phuket's Safe Tourism campaign.

Deputy Phuket governor Pichet Panapong said the island wanted to upgrade its marine tourism safety by applying new technology to every jetty.

"One of the problems we face is many piers do not have digital ID and some boats do not comply with safety standards. Some also lack emergency equipment on board," said Mr Pichet, adding the problems need to be addressed urgently.

The smart pier includes a pier management system and services to visitors. Some key features include an intelligent passenger management system and wristbands to help track tourists if they require assistance.

The passenger management system has functions to register tourists when they buy tickets by using their ID cards or passports. The marine department will store the data in its cloud system.

The tickets purchased will be tied to wristbands or tokens worn by tourists. Security cameras will be put up at the entrance and exit points of every pier.

Tracking devices and an emergency system will be installed on every tourist boat. The devices will automatically send tracking signals to a command centre to quickly locate any tourist boat in an emergency, he said.

"The smart pier project is the key for authorities to monitor tourists and tourist boats so they can help when needed," he said.

Ao Por and Visit Panwa piers are the first two sites to adopt the smart pier solution, he said.

By next year, smart pier technology will be applied to eight more jetties in Phuket. In 2025, all 14 piers on the island will be smart piers, he said.

Deputy director-general of the Marine Department Phuripat Teerakulpisut said the department will evaluate the security system to ensure smooth travel for tourists while they move around the island.

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