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.