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More drownings are occurring at Phuket's beaches because more tourists are coming from countries that lack awareness of dangers in the water

British Embassy Backs Water Safety Summit

Wednesday, August 21, 2013
PHUKET: The British Embassy has backed a full-scale water safety summit on Phuket in October to try to reduce drownings and risks to tourists in the water, a meeting heard yesterday.

Governor Maitree Intrusud told Phuket's honorary consuls that there had been 28 drownings of tourists on Phuket so far this year and the island's lifeguards needed help.

The number of drownings has spiralled as Phuket attracts more visitors from Russia and China and other countries without an awareness of beach dangers.

Water safety experts have been calling for more thorough warnings at Phuket airport and as guests check in at all Phuket resorts and guesthouses, especially during the monsoon season.

Britain's honorary consul, Martin Carpenter, yesterday sought and won the backing of Governor Maitree for a water safety summit on Phuket in October.

''Phuket has 108 lifeguards,'' Governor Maitree said. ''The number of drownings is 28 so far this year and it should also be noted that the lifeguards have rescued 577 people, including 51 Thais.''

The water safety summit on Phuket would be a joint operation between international experts and Phuket organisations, Mr Carpenter said.

''The idea already has the support of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation [which funds the lifeguards] and the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation,'' Mr Carpenter said.

''At the moment we are asking for your support to build and miximise this opportunity,'' he asked Governor Maitree.

He added that the backing of Phuket Marine Office 5, Marine Police and the Royal Thai Navy would also be sought for the summit.

Lifeguards on the beaches were ''just one issue'' in terms of addressing marine safety on Phuket, Mr Carpenter said.

He was ''very pleased'' that the concept of a summit had won the support of experienced organisations in Britain and Australia who would join with the local Phuket authorities in helping to make improvements.

A plan for a water safety centre at one Phuket beach has stalled because of red tape and many speedboats continue to set out from Phuket on day-trips despite dangerous weather warnings.

This year there have been several mass strandings of tourists on outlying islands off Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga, including one in which a Navy warship was called in to rescue more than 400 people.

Governor Maitree asked the 14 honorary consuls at yesterday's meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City to encourage their citizens to wear safety helmets when riding motorcycles on Phuket.

Statistics on road deaths and drownings on Phuket have not been updated since April 2012 when the Public Health department stopped releasing them.

Phuket police statistics reveal the identity of some of the Phuket drowning victims so far this year. Other drownings have occurred without police attending the scene.

The list shows that drownings on Phuket are a year-round issue, with deaths also occurring during relatively calm high season months:

Sheng Sheng China 27 June 2 Chalong drowning
Jeremy Thomas O'Neill British 37 June 21 Kathu drowning
Yun Zemin China 43 July 1 Chalong drowning
Li Ran China 31 July 18 Chalong drowning
Aleksandr Poleshchemko Russia 29 July 20 Kathu drowning
Vancher Roojan Belgium 40 July 20 Kamala drowning
Ramesh Chand Singhal India 49 July 22 Karon drowning
Mark William Caarroll US 51 July 7 Karon drowning
Dmitry Onishchenko Russia 32 July 22 Karon drowning
Wael Zakhour Syria 45 August 5 Karon drowning
Peng Yu China 22 August 9 Chalong drowning
Matthew John Docherty Britain 31 January 3 Patong Hospital drowning
Herve Jean Periard Switzerland 54 January 3 Karon drowning
Stephan Henricus Maria Buczynski Netherlands 26 January 13 Patong drowning
Pertti Juhani Miettinen Finland 72 January 14 Bang Tao drowning
Yin Ling Lai China 35 January 15 Mai Khao drowning
Nebel Thomas Britain 76 January 15 Patong drowning
Richard Ernest Spraggs New Zealand 59 January 25 Chalong drowning
Hiroshi Sasaki Japan 70 January 26 Patong drowning
Nel Gae Britain 36 January 27 Rawai drowning
Connie Jensen Denmark 28 February 28 Kata-Karon drowning


Comments have been disabled for this article.


these statistics (the word even bothers me because they are people not just a stat) leaves me speechless.

Posted by slickmelb on August 23, 2013 18:44

Editor Comment:

There are plainly days when all resorts should be telling their guests in no uncertain terms - as the best ones already do - not to go to the beach. Only if that happens will Phuket's reputation be revived.

Thursday July 18, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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