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No lifeguards on Phuket beaches this holiday season

Beach Danger: Phuket Saves Money, Loses Lives

Thursday, December 17, 2009
Phuketwan News Analysis

THIRTY former lifeguards protested at the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation offices today as the wrangle about safety on Phuket's beaches continued.

The unemployed lifeguards said they had not been paid for seven weeks' work, although their contracts were terminated on November 18.

The organisation vice president, Chawalit Na nakom, said that the contracting company, LP Laikum, which employed the lifeguards, had not been paid by the administrative organisation.

The contract, worth 10 million baht, was to provide 67 lifeguards to protect 12 popular Phuket beaches from June 16.

Part of the budget allocation had been held back by the organisation, Khun Chawalit said. He did not give a reason.

The safety of residents and tourists at Phuket beaches has become a serious concern, with drownings during the monsoon season (otherwise known as ''summer'') taking place despite the presence of lifeguards.

Public Health Department figures show there were 53 drownings on or in the waters off Phuket for the year to the end of November.

Public Health is unable to say how many deaths occurred on which specific beaches, or among fishermen, or at swimming pools.

However, 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.

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

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

While the need for preventing road deaths is clearly understood, 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.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


They wait for a sad story with nice video footage to hit the internet / TV markets. Until that happens, 53 is just a number. Less threatening then bleeding money on "safety".

Posted by Lena on December 17, 2009 16:00


@Lena, and then they prosecute the makers of the video.
NO wonder there is so much crime if hard working underpaid life guards can't even get paid!

Posted by Vfaye on December 17, 2009 17:14


It's a shame for Phuket's officials. Only money counts. And Karon is on the top ten list for family beaches, what a joke, about that nobody can laugh..

Posted by Gerd on December 17, 2009 17:40

Wednesday August 17, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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