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Ambulance carrying Max's body and two grieving women arrives

Phuket Drowning: 'Where's Max? Where's Max?'

Saturday, January 2, 2010
THE YOUNG boy who drowned at a popular Phuket beach on New Year's Day was enjoying a holiday outing with about 25 members of his family.

Pichet ''Max'' Srinakarat, aged 10, comes from Vichit, not far from the beach at Nai Harn. Pulled safely from the water at the same time was another boy, Thanadon ''Pee'' Phukenta, aged 8.

As he was recovering at Phuket City's Vachira Hospital, Pee asked other family members: ''Where's Max? Where's Max?''

The drowning took place at the south end of Nai Harn beach, which, like all popular Phuket beaches, has been without lifeguards since the middle of November.

The family's picnic day out began about 1pm and by 4.30pm, it had ended in tragedy. A canal is believed to cause dangerous swirling water at the south end of the beach.

Phuket's first drowning of 2010 came after a year of needless deaths on the island's well-known tourist beaches, and others offshore.

The most basic comparison between deaths on the roads and in the water indicate that Phuket has a serious water safety problem.

Public Health statistics show that there have been 137 deaths on the island's roads to the end of November. This is an encouraging improvement on previous years.

The figure of 53 deaths by drowning is more alarming, given the large number of people who use the roads compared to the much smaller number who swim or work on the water.

In November, for example, four people died on the roads. Three drowned.

While the need for preventing road deaths is clearly understood and heavily promoted at New Year and other times when many people are on the roads, the island has no plan in place for water safety.

There are no lifeguards on the beaches. The protection of young children especially is being ignored.

Without a complete understanding of the need for proper safety and a commitment to the training of skilled lifesavers, Phuket will suffer by comparison with other tourism destinations.

Advocates of international standards of water safety believe deaths can be avoided in future if Phuket introduces a beach lifesaver system based on the successful Australian model.

Just last week, Phuket was granted a 17 million budget to improve the sea rescue service. Similar special funding, training and cultural change is required to protect lives on Phuket's beaches.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


I really hope they will do something about it, but i doubt, i also hope that a lot of tourist around the world will look at it and that they will do something about it, nobody on phuket do anything (not good for the tourist industry if people hear about this) so better keep quiet

Posted by No Name on January 2, 2010 23:44

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