Hundreds of people gathered on JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa’s Mai Khao Beachfront on Friday April 13, to release 55 1-year Green turtles into the Andaman Sea as part of celebrations to mark the Thai New Year also known as Songkran Festival and to wish the participants longevity.In this occasion, Mr. Olivier Le Quinquis, General Manager of Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach & Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club welcomed participants and guests of honour among; Mr. orraphat Plodthong, Phuket Governor alongside with Dr. Pinsak Suraswadi, Deputy Director General of Department of National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation; Khun
Kanokkrittika Kritwutthikorn, Director of TAT Phuket Office; Captain Putthiporn Swatsut, Director of Communications Division, Third Naval Area Command; Mr. Witoon Dechpramuanpol, Superintendent of Sirinat National Park and Dr. Kongkiat Kittiwattanawong, Director of Phuket Marine Biological Center.
The 55 Green Turtles released during Songkran festival were raised from eggs, hatched and collected by the Third Naval Area Command from Similan 1 island and was nurtured by Phuket Marine Biological Center (PMBC) and Sea Turtles Conservation Center, Phang Nga Naval Base.
All monies raised through donations during the event, went towards supporting the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation and its partners: the Phuket Marine Biological Centre’s injured Turtle Rehabilitation Program and the Third Naval Area Command’s Turtle Hatchery Program.
Songkran Celebrations included “Turtles Merit Releases” ceremony, beginning with the cultural long drum procession and sprinkling scented water on Buddha statue; pouring water over the palms of elders’ hands for blessing; participating fun-filled water activities and Thai traditional games in the hotel’s garden.