Tourist dies in parasailing accident

Tourist dies in parasailing accident

An Indian tourist celebrating her wedding anniversary has been killed in a parasailing accident in Pattaya, police said Thursday.

A file photo of south Pattaya beach area. An Indian tourist celebrating her wedding anniversary has been killed in a parasailing accident in Pattaya, police said Thursday. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

Shilpi Agarwal, 36, and her husband had hired a speedboat to parasail Wednesday near Pattaya's beach but the parasail failed to launch, said Pol Col Suwan Cheawnavinthavat.

The woman plunged into the water and the driver told police he was backing up the boat to retrieve her when  Agarwal was drawn into the boat's spinning propellor and killed.

Suwan said police would press charges of carelessness causing death, which carries a maximum jail term of 10 years and/or a fine of 20,000 baht.

"I wiant tour boat operators be more careful," said Pol Col Suwan. "It was raining a little bit and there was no wind. Any boat operator, any driver with experience should have known that the parasail wouldn't launch. But he still took the tourist out to sea."

Police said Agarwal's family will receive 200,000 baht ($6,383) from the boat's insurance company in compensation.

Wednesday's accident comes shortly after Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra ordered government agencies to help ensure safety of tourists using jet skis, speed boats and taxis.

Government officials and tourism operators also launched a campaign on Sept 24 to increase maritime safety and prevent accidents involving boats transporting tourists in waters off Pattaya and Koh Larn.

Dubbed the "Pattaya Model", the campaign initiated by the Marine Department, is intended to set a precedent for other coastal tourist destinations across the country and will be implemented elsewhere if it proves to be successful. 

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