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Phuket lifeguards warn of dangerous surf after Chinese tourist rescue

PHUKET: Lifeguards have repeated their call for swimmers to obey red “no swimming” flags at the beaches along Phuket’s west coast after a Chinese tourist was rescued from dangerous surf at Kata Beach yesterday afternoon (Sept 26).

Chinese, tourism, marine, weather,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Tuesday 27 September 2016, 02:46PM

“There were a lot of tourists on Kata Beach yesterday, though the wind and the waves were both very strong, making any swimming in the surf dangerous,” Uten Singsom, chief Phuket Lifeguard Service lifeguard for Kata-Karon beaches, told The Phuket News today.

At about 3pm lifeguards noticed a Chinese man, about 40 years old, in distress.

“He needed help, so two of our lifeguards went into the water with surfboards and brought him safely back to shore,” Mr Uten said.

“Luckily, he survived, but he was not the only one – lifeguards had to rescue several others yesterday, too,” he added.

Mr Uten noted a lack of thanks from the people whose lives the lifeguards saved.

“After the Chinese tourist was rescued from the dangerous waves, he left without even saying ‘Thank you’. He just picked up his clothes and walked away.

“But in the big picture, we are not worried about it. Our job is to save people’s lives,” he added.

Mr Uten said that a big part of the problem remained tourists ignoring warning flags and verbal warnings from lifeguards to not enter the water.

“The problem is that tourists still ignore lifeguards’ warnings. They still ignore the red flags,” he said.

Mr Uten urged all people intending on swimming during the current heavy weather to observe the warning flags.

“Please swim only where it is marked with red-yellow flags indicating where it is safe to do so, and where lifeguards are on patrol,” he said.

“If you have a doubt, just do not go into the water at all,” Mr Uten advised.



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Kurt | 28 September 2016 - 13:33:48

Jacky, good idea. Why not just make it a total green flag?
That thai 'half/half' is actually confusing for foreigners as well..
As in other countries it is a green flag shown when it is safe to swim at beaches with beach guards.

Red?  NO!
Green? Yes!  
Can it be more simple and clear?

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Asterix | 28 September 2016 - 12:41:51

@ Joe12
i had read it but better to ask them to come to Phuket beaches during rough sea and have a try to make them aware that it is their job to inform their Chinese citizens through brochures and warnings before chinese tourists land in the Andaman Sea.

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Joe12 | 27 September 2016 - 23:30:55

Asterix... read this:

They are the key Chinese officials to which you refer to and who actually live here as part of the Chinese delegation. 

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Jacky | 27 September 2016 - 19:02:38

I truely think, that you should have Red Flags, for no swimming and Yellow/Green ones when you can swim.

The yellow and red confuses people. . . . . make it yellow/green

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Kurt | 27 September 2016 - 18:47:47

Simon01. You bring up the proposal of the day! Yes.
Phuket should start a fine system, that when a person not listen to the beach guards and ignore the red flags, than need to be recued, he/she has to pay a hefty rescue contribution.
Great idea.

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Asterix | 27 September 2016 - 18:38:20

Rather that doing a lot of meetings after a lot of meetings, it would be better to bring a delegation of key Chinese officials directly to the beaches during rough sea in order they understand that their Chinese citizens need to be reeducated about safety in the sea as well on the roads in Thailand.
By the way  doing the same with Russians would be also a good idea.

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simon01 | 27 September 2016 - 15:54:40

Look what this idiot is wearing. Anyone who is in the red flag area and need rescuing should have a standard 50,000 fine for taking the lifeguards from the safe area to rescue an idiot in the red area not only putting the lifeguards at risk but also the other swimmers in the safe zone by leaving them with less safety cover. The money then can help to fund the lifeguard program and train more life guards.

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