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Needless deaths should be prevented, says a Chinese envoy

Phuket Must Help to Save Lives, Says Envoy

Thursday, October 3, 2013
PHUKET: Eighteen Chinese tourists have died while taking holidays on Phuket or in southern Thailand so far this year, says Chinese Consul-General Qin Jian.

''We are keen to make Thailand a safer destination for visitors,'' he told Phuketwan from his base in Songkhla province.

Chinese have died on Phuket or in the region in motorcycle crashes, with one recorded case near Phi Phi of a man struck by a propeller blade.

Most of the fatalities have been drownings, either on Phuket beaches or on snorkelling day-trips to nearby islands.

Both a former Chinese ambassador and European Union ambassadors have urged Phuket officials this year to make marine safety a priority for all tourists.

Close to 30 drownings have taken place at Phuket's beaches so far this year with more non-swimmers or poor swimmers arriving from China, Russia and eastern Europe.

Two Chinese died in motorcycle crashes on Phuket in September, the consul-general said.

In the latest deaths at sea, Sheng Caoliang, 31, disappeared into the surf at Karon beach on Sunday and Lin Hunhing, 30, drowned on a day-trip off Phuket on Tuesday.

''We need more help to keep the tourists safe,'' Mr Qin said. ''Those who use mobile telephones in Thailand get an SMS on arrival at the airport telling them about some of the dangers.

''But what we would like to see are billboards spelling out how dangerous the sea can be on Phuket and brochures in resorts.''

He said there was still a lack of understanding and poor communication between lifeguards and would-be swimmers, even if red flags were planted along shorelines.

''Many of our people think they are good swimmers when their only experience has been in pools,'' he said.

''Billboards along the beaches and brochures at the airport and in resorts would help.''

Water safety experts advocate direct verbal warnings on checkin, in the appropriate language. Some Phuket resorts attempt to give coy and casual advice, which has little impact.

Lifeguards now have have improved skills but are still vastly outnumbered. A Phuketwan reporter observed what happened on a sunny day when the surf was dangerous this week at Nai Harn.

The lifeguards set up a swimming zone between yellow and red flags.

But the zone was just as small section of a long beach, and scores of swimmers could not be bothered taking the trouble to walk along the beach so they could swim with safety between the flags.

Many resorts still fail to properly warn their guests and ignore their collective responsibility to protect tourists against Phuket's dangers.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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For a country that jails people during the Christmas holidays (when they hope the world will not watch the news) for being outspoken, that jails people for "tax evasion" a country that allows thugs to move by force poor people to make way for tower blocks, that deports N.Korean children who escaped the regime back to N.Korea where they might face death for their actions do I need to go on - their concern on Phuket is some what strange.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on October 3, 2013 15:33

Editor Comment:

Nations are collections of individuals with different perspectives, FF, and for you to puzzle over why Chinese authorities might be concerned about the safety of tourists on Phuket is a little strange. It's like pushing back boatpeople: Australia still has lifesavers on the beaches for those lucky enough to get there.

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Fair enough Ed, I guess you are right, can you please change my typo in my first comment from "there" to their.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on October 3, 2013 16:57

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Everyone of Consul-General Qin Jian suggestions makes admirable sense.
Having said that the Thai government also needs to get rid of officials who let speed boat captains of the hook after a little crying jag.

Posted by Arthur on October 4, 2013 08:08

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I'm in China right now, and I have been traveling to this country for more than 10 years on a regular basis. Probably 6-7 times per year on average. And I can say that China is in no position to criticise Thailand ehen it comes to safety, be it road, food or indeef beach safety. Plus, the chinese is the most reckless people I have ever seen. They positively HATE to follow any rule.

Posted by christian on October 4, 2013 09:40

Editor Comment:

That's two countries you can put down without offering a constructive thought, christian.

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Ed

Two countries? I'm saying Thailand is safer for the chinese tourists than back home.

Posted by christian on October 4, 2013 11:17


Thursday December 9, 2021
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