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The beach is closed today at Karon on Phuket's west coast

Lifeguards Close Dangerous Beach Rips

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
PHUKET: Lifeguards moved today to close segments of all 13 west coast beaches where swimmers are at risk at this time of the year.

Red flags were strung on cords on areas of the beaches known to be places where permanent and travelling ''rips'' are found.

Four people drowned on Phuket beaches in four days and a rescued Russian man remains in a coma at Phuket Vachira Hospital in Phuket City.

The beaches where deaths occurred were Patong, Laem Singh, Layan and Kata. Lifeguards acted at those beaches today and at Karon, Kamala, Surin and other popular spots.

The Phuket Lifeguard Service has opted to close parts of the beaches considered dangerous every day.

''We will do what we can,'' a spokesperson said today. ''But we still need help because even with the red flags on cords, some people will try to swim.''

The lifeguards have stations on Phuket's west coast beaches but there are not enough of them to guard the longer beaches.

Senior officials met at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City yesterday to address the issue of the drownings.

Between Thursday and Sunday, a Belgian, a Russian, an Indian and a 19-year-old Thai drowned at four different Phuket west coast beaches.

The onset of the monsoon season alwayd brings added danger - eight swimmers died in eight weeks between mid-May and mid-July last year.

Little appears to have been done to meet the suggestion of water safety experts to warn arriving tourists at this time of the year at Phuket International Airport, in person when they check in at resorts and guesthouses, and when they attempt to swim on days when red flags are flying.

Beach safety is likely to be high on the agenda when ambassadors and their representatives meet the Minister for Tourism and Sport in Bangkok to talk about Phuket on Friday.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Excellent news, well done for Phuketwan for covering the stories and hopefully this contributed to the decision.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on June 25, 2013 18:13


Well done lifeguards hope this will save lives

Posted by Mick.s on June 25, 2013 18:16


i never swim so I must ask, do red flags mean "please dont swim" or "swimming not allowed/penalty if ...??

Posted by sistan on June 25, 2013 19:26


No warning about the dangerous beaches will be given by any business until they have the tourists money in their pocket first.

Posted by sir burr on June 25, 2013 19:41


Good positive action by the lifeguards who are too often ignored or brushed aside. I hope they get some sort of police backing if required, maybe some tourist police who can bridge the language barriers.

Interesting point: Are there any tourist police who can speak Russian or Chinese? There are plenty of volunteer tourist police of most other nationalities.

Posted by Logic on June 26, 2013 06:51

Editor Comment:

There are certainly Russian-speaking volunteers.


the bad news is the beach vendors pull them down not the view deckchair & umbrella salesmen like to them a few baht is more imortant than a life.

Posted by slickmelb on June 28, 2013 21:24

Thursday July 18, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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