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Learning to swim is as important as proper safety on Phuket beaches

Phuket Drownings: Rescue Courses Coming

Tuesday, June 9, 2009
TRAINING COURSES for lifeguards are being held next month in an effort to reduce the number of drownings on Phuket.

With a spate of fatalities and mass rescues marring an island marketing campaign to attract tourists all year, safety in the water has never been more important.

The courses are run by Le Meridien Phuket, where the commitment to water safety remains one of the few hopeful signs that unnecessary deaths can be avoided in future.

''Guests are increasingly sensitive to safety and security issues on all levels,'' says HR manager Manit Pimparien in a message inviting other resorts to join the training.

''The many drownings on Phuket's beaches and in some swimming pools each year are strong reminders of the need to meet international standards in water safety, rescue and resussitation techniques.''

It wouldn't hurt if local administrations picked up on that message, too.

As a sun, sea and sport destination, Phuket needs to protect tourists who chose to come here, especially when the Andaman Sea is at its most dangerous.

Four people have drowned on Phuket within days, with mass rescues and people in distress still being pulled from the surf on Monday.

Because of the global economic downturn, Le Meridien has dropped the cost of the three-day and five day training courses this year.

Courses that cost 6000 baht in 2008 will be heavily discounted to 4000 baht per individual this year, a measure of the continuing obligation to protect the lives of tourists in good times or bad.

Highly qualified lifeguard trainer David Field from Australia will be overseeing the courses.

An advanced three day program runs from July 6-8, with a five-day basic to intermediate program beginning on July 13 and a second advanced three-day program from July 20.

Le Meridien has been a prime sponsor of water safety on Phuket, driving the regular mini-surf events for juniors and establishing the Patong Lifesaving Carnival, which will be held on July 11 (juniors) and July 12 (adults) this year.

Jayne MacDougall, Director of Risk Management and Loss Prevention at Le Meridien, makes the point that too many lives are being lost unnecessarily on Phuket.

''Training can save more lives,'' she says. ''We hope standards improve rapidly.''

Details and registration are available by calling 076 370100 ext 5422 or emailing Khun Benyathip b.pattaraworawisit@phuketbeachresort.lemeridien.com

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Wednesday June 26, 2019
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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