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International flags fly at Patong for a mock rescue, comforting for some

All Safe in Patong Emergency Rescue Practice

Friday, June 5, 2009
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A ROYAL NAVY aircraft flew overhead and a helicopter landed on Patong beach today as part of a plan to restore the confidence of tourists in Phuket's emergency services.

Officials believe today's enactment of a tourist rescue may help to demonstrate that water safety is a priority for the Asean Plus Six summit scheduled for Phuket in October.

After the sinking of the MV Dive Asia 1 with the loss of seven lives in March, more than 20 survivors floated at sea in two large liferaft for several hours in broad daylight, within sight of Patong.

Eventually, the survivors attracted the attention of a fisherman, borrowed his mobile telephone, and called in rescuers themselves.

Even then, rescue came slowly, hours later than it should have. Despite the scale of the disaster, no aerial search was mounted.

No-one was actually talking today about that tragedy or the lack of a rapid rescue, but the Patong practice did at least produce a fixed-wing aircraft flying overhead and a helicopter that landed on the beach.

Soon after the March sinking, Governor Wichai Praisa-nob made a point of telling the media that the local emergency number 1669 remains available 24 hours a day.

Today Patong was filled with activity under a scenario where a group of tourists borrowed a gps from the Tourist Police, then had to seek help when they ran into trouble at sea.

A police car and ambulances pulled up on the beach and waited for the rescue boat to bring the tourists ashore.

Seriously ill cases would be fetched at sea and carried to hospital by helicopter with greater speed.

Royal Thai Navy, Marine Police and Tourist Police, as well as the Department of Tourism and Sport, took part in today's elaborate demonstration.

Tourist Police have applied for 50 gps so they can loan them to tourists but the budget has yet to be found.

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


Yes this is good because if you had a very serious emergency in Patong you would want to be airlifted out since the Patong Hospital has a shortage of doctors.

Any follow up to how many doctors are at the Patong Hospital these days?

Posted by VFaye on June 6, 2009 11:12


That's sweet and dandy to help in Patong.
Did better all to help the drowning victims in Kata,Karon and Surin. Maybe there should be lookouts all along the west coast to watch for ignorant people wanting to tackle the seas during monsoon time ???

Posted by Mouse on June 9, 2009 08:26

Monday June 17, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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