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At Brisbane airport authorities make every effort to warn arriving tourists

Phuket Must Take Best Chance to Stop the Drownings

Tuesday, June 26, 2012
PHUKET: Michelle Smith's murder rightly heads the agenda for Wednesday's summit on Phuket of all those officials and administrators interested in improving safety and security on the holiday island.

But beach and whitewater drownings are also a high priority. Just when Phuket appeared to be reducing the number of deaths in the surf, along came a month of monsoon storms that accounted for eight deaths in less than five weeks.

Layered warnings are the one and only answer.

Tourists coming to Phuket must be warned as their flights approach Phuket, on the ground at the airport, verbally at check-in at every Phuket resort and guesthouse, and with signs and whistle-blowing lifeguards on the beaches.

Collective responsibility must be taken and shared among all those people who want tourists to come to Phuket in the monsoon/green/wet/summer season.

Lifeguards should start to award ratings to resorts that do the right thing, and to name and shame those that don't. The resorts, as the businesses that stand to benefit most, simply must be made to understand the part they have to play.

The best resorts are already issuing full and frank warnings to guests as they arrive.

Back in the 1990s, drownings were expected at Phuket's beaches each low season and regarded by locals as ''natural.'' It has been no easy task for the approach on Phuket to be changed from acceptance to prevention.

This year is the best chance yet to cement that change in the island's outlook.

With the monsoon drownings toll higher than we can recall it ever being before - eight deaths in five weeks is appalling - Phuket authorities must drive home the safety message.

Australian water safety expert David Field supplied the photographs with this article. He will be on Phuket again next month, ''hopefully bringing over some Aussie Lifeguards again to train with the local guards.''

''I cringe when I open Phuketwan lately,'' he wrote.''It seems like carnage at the moment with the surf drownings.''

A cohesive plan is needed and it should be applied to every flight, every resort and every beach on Phuket.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Absolutely correct - all of these warnings need to be in place to save lives. I was in Phuket in June and witnessed for myself the senseless drownings of tourists and the complete silence from resorts, and authorities in Thailand about the danger of entering the water in the monsoon season. Come on Thailand - get your act together!

Posted by jrlj on June 26, 2012 10:42



Posted by Laurie Howells on June 27, 2012 07:31

Editor Comment:

You've already been banned from commenting, Laurie. You have nothing to add, no useful information to impart. Now, I'm going to ban you from reading Phuketwan.

Friday October 22, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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