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Rescuers carry the boy back to shore on eastern Phuket yesterday

Boy Drowns on Holiday Outing With Friends at 'Safe' Phuket Beach

Friday, July 31, 2015
PHUKET: An 11-year-old boy drowned yesterday on Phuket while swimming with friends enjoying the first day of a long weekend away from school.

The boy and his mates swam out from a small beach at Koh Sireh, east of Phuket City, about 1.30pm.

However, Kerttisak Tongkeaw complained of feeling tired in the water. When the group of boys reached the beach, near a floating speedboat pier, Kerttisak was nowhere to be seen.

''We went looking for him,'' one boy later told the Kusoldharm Phuket Foundation rescuers.

''But we couldn't find him, so we let our parents know that he was missing.''

Kusoldharm rescuers recovered the boy's body and carried him back to the floating pier.

Lifeguards patrol Phuket's well-known west coast beaches but there are no patrols or ''safe to swim'' flags on the east coast beaches, which are not considered dangerous.

Comments

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As with many incidences that happen for whatever reason, nothing is generally done until it happens to someone's family who has power.

A tragic day

Posted by Tbs on July 31, 2015 09:12

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Life Guards properly monitoring and controlling dangerous beaches are a must on any public beach. It is sad when any life is lost swimming unfortunately it happens even in one's home pool or even a bath tub. But I am still mystified how the beaches are actually being protected. Yesterday I was at kata beach and it was a great ocean day with moderate 1/2 Meter high waves breaking onto the beach and hundreds of people enjoying the sun and the ocean. Yet red flags were up all along the beach. How are tourist suppose to take the red flags seriously when they are up on nice day's.

Posted by mike on July 31, 2015 11:00

Editor Comment:

Were there patrols, and were there flags indicating where it was safe to swim? If not, best to leave the designation of sfe or unsafe days to experts. Whether the sun is shining often has little to do with that.

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Experts you have got to be kidding. I would be more than qualified as an expert in surf/currents and safe areas to swim or not to swim especially at Kata Beach. Not only do I have years of swimming Kata beach while training for the Ironman World Championships (in all surf conditions) but I also have received more water training over my lifetime than the average lifeguard. Your sun shining comment was just plain childish.

Posted by mike on July 31, 2015 13:00

Editor Comment:

You still haven't said whether there were safe patrol areas marked or not. Whether you can swim and whether or not you are a meteorological expert has nothing to do with swim safety. Quite often, red flags will be placed along beaches so the ''safe'' patrolled areas stand out and normal people look for them. Highly talented people usually do whatever they like. The system is designed to save the normal people.

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Hi Mike
No offense intended mate but I, too, am a strong swimmer who was competitive throughout my teens yet I have been swept out on two occasions, albeit at Nai Harn. It was scary for me - so think how much more dangerous it would be for an inexperienced tourist. I think to err on the side of caution is the best direction in which to go. Cheers.

Posted by Sam Wilko on July 31, 2015 17:05

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I had no intent to get down into the weeds but since your insisting on it. The safe to swim areas are flagged by the hotel at the south end and club med further up the beach and they have nothing to do with the lifeguards sitting in the red flag zones that cover ALL the rest of the beach.

Posted by mike on July 31, 2015 22:43

Editor Comment:

We will ask the experts. But there's no way Phuket's beaches are safe for swimming outside patrolled zones for typical swimmers. It's no surprise to us that the beaches are red-flagged outside of safety zones during the low season. It's a simple, effective precaution to save lives.

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i won 8 olympic gold medals in swimming and i dont mess with red flag. red flag means dont go there. but what do i know.

Posted by Mike Phelps on July 31, 2015 23:25


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