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Warning sign at Surin beach, where one of four swimmers drowned

Phuket Drownings: Warn Guests, Resorts Told

Wednesday, June 17, 2009
BRITISH Ambassador Quinton Quayle said today that Phuket must dramatically improve the quality of its beach warnings following a series of needless drownings.

One of four drowning victims over three days earlier this month was a young British man whose girlfriend had to fly home alone, expecting their child in about six months.

Navy lifeguards swarmed over Karon beach today and new warning signage was in place as the ambassador met the Governor, Wichai Praisa-nob, in Phuket City.

Three of the four victims drowned at Karon beach, the fourth at Surin beach. Two were tourists.

Many others had narrow escapes last week in monsoon surf, with its dangerous rips and undertows.

Ambassador Quayle said that visitors to Phuket needed to be reminded that swimming at Phuket beaches at the wrong time of year could cost them their lives.

It was up to the island's administration to make sure that warnings were in place, and that resorts told guests about the dangers, the ambassador said.

''Yes, yes,'' the governor said. ''We have started doing what's required. Next, we have to talk to the resorts.''

The governor said that professional lifeguards would be in place at all of Phuket's beaches in one month's time.

Critics have frequently complained that the warning system on beaches is inadequate and lifeguards often fail to perform.

Ambassador Quayle chatted with the governor on a visit to Provincial Hall with the British honorary consul, Martin Carpenter.

The governor was told by the ambassador that about 800,000 Britons come to Thailand each year. Mr Carpenter added that about 4000 more Britons, either through early retirement or business interests, made Phuket their home.

When asked by the governor to compare what Phuket and Samui had to offer, Mr Carpenter said that Phuket's hospitals and international schools were better. So were security and infrastructure.

''There's quite a substantial international community here,'' Mr Carpenter said.

The governor said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be a visitor next month for the big Asia Regional Forum.

Ambassador Quayle, who speaks fluent Thai, told Phuketwan after the meeting: ''Clearly, Phuket needs to deliver reliable information to tourists that is honest and easily understood.

''The island also needs police who do their job properly.''

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


To: Mr Quayle and Mr Carpenter. Come on guys, you've both been here long enough to understand that the Thais really don't give a hoot about public safety, be it Thai or Foreign Tourist. Police actually policing? Time to wake up, reality is a sobering mistress!

Posted by Noddy on June 18, 2009 12:32


Pssst, don't tell the tourists they can't swim in the ocean in the
" Summer Season " ( Tm)

Posted by MediaWatch2009 on June 23, 2009 09:01


Hey I was at Kata beach yesterday and lo and behold, five big red flags, new sign boards advising tourist swimmers not to swim .... but, I counted no less than thirty five swimmers and surfers in the water when I was there.

Even the surf shop was hiring out surf boards. So stop complaining and come watch the new sport here, spot the drowning fellows and win spot prizes for the best picture taken, ..... ooooh !

Posted by Mouse on June 23, 2009 09:47


Why after 20+ years are people still drowning? It is totally preventable! Tourist company - hotel - tourist resort - life guards - British Government - all guilty of negligence. Too little too late for so many. How many more years of tragic loss of our loved ones will it take to stop this killing .

James leaves a huge hole in all our lives & a little one father less.

We buried James on Tuesday. Over 500 people came to funeral, that is a measure of the impact his 21 years had on so many people.

His death was totally preventable, the exposure of the negligence has only just started.

Jame's loving Father.

Posted by Paul Patton - father of James lost to us all on June 6th on June 25, 2009 17:36


Mr Patton , My condolences,

Thai society, and the vast majority of resident foreigners care about little other than money.

Safety simply isn't a priority, but please don't tell anyone or they might pick another holiday destination.

Posted by Kim on June 28, 2009 08:09

Wednesday January 19, 2022
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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