A 19-year-old from Koh Kaew who went on a seaside picnic with his family today is missing, presumed drowned at Phuket's Layan beach. If confirmed, his drowning would be Phuket's fourth at beaches in four days.
PHUKET: Russian tourists fought to save the life of a young man on Karon beach today by applying resuscitation techniques.
And today in frustration came a call from the Phuket Lifeguard Service to close Phuket's beaches - or at least the dangerous parts of them - at this time of the year.
The lifeguards say they can't do it all alone. By the time tourists reach the beaches, it's too late. Two Chinese women narrowly escaped death at Surin beach.
Something has to be done, and closing stretches of Phuket beaches makes sense. Holidaymakers cannot simply be allowed to continue to drown with regularity on Phuket at this time of the year.
Saving a person from drowning is not a pretty process. The young man in these photographs was still clinging to life late today.
He was one of five people rescued from the monsoon surf at Phuket's west coast beaches today. Two of them were still being treated in Patong Hospital, Phuketwan was told.
The man in the photographs was at first taken to Patong Hospital then transferred to the better-equipped Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City, where he remains in a coma.
Phuket has endured a tragic opening to the monsoon season with three drownings in five days on Phuket beaches and several other deaths on Phuket or nearby since May.
Many others have been narrowly rescued. All of Phuket's famous west coast beaches are risky on the wrong day, in the wrong place.
Phuketwan publishes these photographs today in the hope that they will generate greater awareness of the dangers of swimming at this time of year, and of the need for a community safety program to save unnecessary deaths.
We don't know whether this young man was warned about the dangers of the surf but, like many others, he was intent on swimming on his holiday at the Phuket seaside.
While individuals bear some responsibility, so does the entire Phuket community. Tourists are encouraged to come to Phuket, a beach holiday destination, all year long.
But they must be warned of the dangers and they must be prevented from taking unnecessary risks.
The danger for Phuket is that national governments could react by telling their citizens not to come to Phuket between May and July unless a proper community safer program is put in place.
We urge Phuket authorities and Phuket resort managements to act immediately. Waiting even another day may bring more needless tragedies.
Phuketwan reported the eight drownings on Phuket's beaches last year between mid-May and mid-July. We called for greater, more responsible action this year.
Nothing has changed. The toll for this year is on track to be as terrible and as unnecessary as last year. Lifeguards have placed extra signs at beaches but they are ignored.
It's time to implement the triple-stage warning process at Phuket airport, on check-in at every resort and guesthouse, and at the beaches. It's time to close some beaches - partially or completely if necessary.
June 22 Indian tourist Ramesh Chand Singhal, 49, goes into the surf at Kata with a bodyboard and drowns.
June 20 Two drownings within one hour as Belgian Laurent Jacques Leopold Wanter, 42, drowns at Laem Singh beach and Aleksande Poleshchenko, 29, drowns soon after at Patong beach.
June 19 Chinese tourist Chen Peng, 36, dies afterv being struck by a speedboat propeller in the water at scenic Pileh Bay, near Phi Phi.
June 18 Chinese tourist Ran Li, 23, drowns on a day-trip outing to Racha island.
June 14 Eighteen European envoys meet on Phuket and request more effort to improve marine and beach safety.
May 29 Chinese Ambassador Guan Mu makes a strong public plea on Phuket for more warnings - at the airport, at resorts and at beaches - to save more lives.
May 28 A Young Chinese tourist drowns on a day-trip from Phuket to Pai island.
May 21 British tourist Jeremy Thomas O'Neill, 37, is found dead on Patong beach about 6am. It is believed he may have misjudged the strength of the waves in darkness.
Right on, Alan.
Posted by Sam Wilko on June 23, 2013 20:18