Jet ski owner arrested for lending them to tourists to speed along river

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A jet ski owner was arrested for allegedly lending his vehicles to thrill-seekers who raced along a river.

Khun Jaturong, 39, was found to be the owner of the water sports machines used by two tourists who illegally raced in Ping river in Chiang Mai province on August 18.

He reportedly leased his jet skis to the two foreigners who sped across the river in a high-octane race – disturbing local residents and nearby fishermen with the noise on August 6.

After being questioned by the police, a jet ski mechanic identified as Sarawut was also taken to the station as he was allegedly the one who handed the jet skis to the tourists.

Speaking at the station, Jaturong said: ‘The foreigners came over and asked if they could use the jet skis. I did not know they were going to race in the river and irritate the local people. Now, we have lost contact with them.’

After the race, annoyed residents who were near the river and recorded the incident reported it to local authorities who began an investigation and led to the jet ski owner.

Local police then found CCTV footage of two pickup trucks delivering the jet skis. They said they found pickup trucks matching the footage parked in front of Sarawut’s home.

Chiang Mai Regional Harbor Office director Pongthorn Chamnikul said they were also trying to identify the tourists as the two might have no boating license to use the jet skis.

He said: ‘Boating without a license carries an offence under the Thai Waters Navigation Act 1913 with a fine of not more than 10,000 baht. They could also be imprisoned for up to six months.

‘Aside from the unauthorised use of the boat, the river banks were nearly collapsing due to erosion which is dangerous for residents living nearby.’

Investigations on the incident is still ongoing in order to trace the men seen riding the jet skis.

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