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Death on a beach: Karon safety begins with arrival at the resorts

Phuket Rescues Mount Despite Beach Safety Campaign

Wednesday, July 27, 2011
PHUKET: An expat woman tourist who went for a swim as darkness fell on Phuket's Karon beach yesterday evening had a lucky escape.

Lifeguards had left the sand and were on the beach road about to head home when other people on the beach alerted them to the woman's cries for help.

The woman, a guest at the Thavorn Palm Beach Resort, rejected suggestions that she should be taken to hospital for a check-up and opted to return to her accommodation, saying she was feeling ''tired.''

The spot where the woman chose to swim on Karon beach - after the beach had been officially closed for the evening - was the same spot where Australian visitor Jennifer Laidley vanished into the surf earlier this month, and not far from the spot where Chinese tourist Ru Qing Lin disappeared last week.

Both drowning victims went swimming at Karon beach at dusk.

In an attempt to prevent tourists from swimming at Karon, where 12 people have drowned in the past 16 months, lifeguards have placed 60 red flags along the beach, with six ''safe'' swimming zones delineated when conditions permit.

Once lifeguards leave the beach, Karon is officially ''closed'' each evening.

Resorts in Karon and throughout Phuket are being urged to be proactive and warn guests in person on arrival about the dangers of swimming on Phuket during the monsoon season.

Phuket Lifeguard Club statistics have only recently revealed the full extent of the drowning toll that previous went unrecorded.

Scores of people are thought to have drowned at Karon in the years before the serious campaign began to save lives. Some of Phuket's resorts already warn visitors about the dangers, in person as guests check in.

Visitors to Phuket are now being advised to stay in resorts that tell them the truth about the dangers at Phuket beaches at some times during the monsoon season, and to swim only between the flags when lifeguards say the beaches are open.

The reason why resorts also need to issue warnings is evident in statistics released by lifeguards for the week between July 18 and July 24.

As well as recording the drowning of Ru Qing Lin at Karon, the lifeguard statistics for the week list 12 rescues at Karon, 20 at Kata, seven at Nai Harn, two at Nai Thon and 45 at Patong, Phuket's most popular beach.

Seventeen of those rescued were Thais, 69 were expats.
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Latest More people need to learn to swim and to be careful in the waters on and off Phuket, a safety expert says after a young man drowns in a lagoon.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


I have just seen an excellent way to inform " Taxi" arrivals from the airport. The Limosine Taxi Service from the airport, car number 73, has little TV Screens mounted in the headrests. Could he not also play a warning don't swim tape for his passengers to watch?

That would be a start?

Posted by Graham on July 28, 2011 02:42

Thursday August 11, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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