PHUKET'S future lifesavers were on display today at the Surf Lifesaving Carnival, enjoying a day at the beach despite the brisk breeze.
Scores of youngsters enjoyed the fun of running races along the sand, a tug-o-war and medals all-round.
Good examples were set by adult expats and Thais who frolicked in the difficult conditions, showing what it takes to be a good surfer dude.
Patong's Deputy Mayor, Chairat Sukkaban, acknowledged in his opening speech the need for tourists to come to Phuket for a holiday and be able to enjoy the sea all year long in safety.
''Events like this can only help Phuket do a better job at protecting its visitors,'' he said.
A rubber boat seemed to slice out through the waves with comparative ease, and a first-time Brazilian who just happened to hear about the carnival did remarkably well at slicing, too.
A number of deaths at Phuket's beaches in the monsoon season have prompted authorities to look again at training and facilites, as well as no-swim warnings.
The rip currents that appear at populat west coast beaches during the monsoon season have the potential to be fatal. Some visitors, bent on enjoying a seaside holiday, ignore red flags and other warnings.
However, in the large Australian holiday state of Queensland, not a single death was recorded through the 2008-2009 summer because of the strength of the lifesaving culture.
Judging by the keenness of the youngsters at Patong beach today, it's only a matter of time before a similar culture helps to save lives on Phuket.