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Tourists who ignore red flags sometimes drown, especially at Karon

Phuket Doctors Battle for Life of 'Drowned' Tourist

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

AFTER two hours of treatment, tourist Gheorghe Paulivc, 36, remained unconscious and on life support at Patong Hospital with doctors and nurses battling to save him.

Original Report

DOCTORS at a Phuket hospital were today fighting to save the life of a Romanian tourist who was pulled from the water close to death at the island's notorious Karon beach.

The man, aged 30 to 40, ignored red flags flying on the sand to go for a swim about 11.50am, close to Karon's landmark golden dragon statue.

Three Phuket lifeguards using fins and flotation devices swam out when the man appeared to be getting into difficulties.

It took them 10 minutes to fight through the surf and battle the swirling ''rip'' to return to the sand with the man in tow.

Leader of the Karon beach lifeguards, Auten Singsom, told Phuketwan: ''He was a very large man and we struggled to help him to shore.

''The waves today were not huge but there is the undercurrent, which is why we placed the red flags out.

''This tourist ignored the flags and went swimming with his wife. He had a pulse when we brought him back, and we started cpr [heart resuscitation] on the beach immediately and continued it until the ambulance arrived, and they took over.''

A spokeswoman at Patong Hospital said that a tourist from Romania had been admitted and doctors in the intensive care unit were attempting to save his life.

Phuket's Karon beach is considered to be tame in high season and treacherous in the low season, having claimed the lives of a succession of tourists.

Visitors, attracted to Phuket in the low season, which is now being promoted as ''Summer,'' often insist on swimming despite red flags and warnings from lifeguards.

Resorts mostly deny any responsibility to warn their guests about potential dangers in the water.

Experts have recommended warnings being given at all resorts in several languages, or as tourists arrive at Phuket International Airport.

Other famous Phuket beaches are almost as dangerous, but more tourists drown at Karon than any other beach. Ironically, 'Lonely Planet' rated it ''the fourth best family beach in the world'' last year.

Better-trained and equipped lifeguards have been on Phuket's best-known beaches since April. Experts consider, however, that warnings remain inadequate.

Closing dangerous beaches remains a last resort.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


Two days ago, during dangerous surf at Surin beach, businesses were flying a confusing array of red, yellow and red and yellow flags.
I would suggest these flags be removed and have have 3 flags on either end and the middle that the lifeguards are in control of.

BTW, The red and yellow flag means what? Patrolled but unsafe? Patrolled but safe? Safe , Unsafe? The one sign explaining this confusing array is in the parking lot obscured by a pine tree.

Posted by Horse Doctor on July 21, 2010 15:09


Red flags mean the sea is dangerous and you should not go into the water, The red and yellow flag means "Lifeguard are on patrol. swim between the two flags. And the simple rules to keep safe at the beach "Find the red and yellow flags and swim between them, Observe and obey the safety signs, ask a lifeguard for advice on current sea condition and never swim where a sign say NOT to or when a red flag is flying."

Posted by Member of PLC on July 25, 2010 21:24

Sunday August 1, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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