The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Deadly rips see more tourists rescued at Phuket beaches

Deadly rips see more tourists rescued at Phuket beaches

PHUKET: Dangerous rip currents at Phuket beaches have seen tourists along the west coast needing rescuing this week, with two tourists needing rescuing at two different beaches on Tuesday alone.

tourismSafetyweathermarine
By The Phuket News

Thursday 5 July 2018, 12:50PM


Lifeguards bring a tourist back to shore at Kata Beach on Tuesday (July 3). Screengrab: Tu Vinai

Lifeguards bring a tourist back to shore at Kata Beach on Tuesday (July 3). Screengrab: Tu Vinai

One tourist was rescued at Kata Beach on Tuesday (July 3), with the rescue being recorded on video by a bystander who plainly said that he had heard lifeguards tell tourists along the beach many times that it was too dangerous to enter the water.

Regardless, at least one tourist ignored the warning and was quickly pulled away from the beach by a rip current.

The video, posted online by “Tu Vinai” (click here), shows the tourist being brought back to the beach through the strong waves that were breaking on the shore.

It was later reported that the tourist made a full recovery.

Suppachai Chanpetch, Head of Karon Municipality Tourist Assistance Centre, told The Phuket News that such rescues were becoming a daily occurrence.

“I have yet to receive an official report from the lifeguards of the rescue [on Tuesday], but I have seen video already. This is normal, it happens almost every day,” he said.

“Some tourists do not obey the lifeguards’ warning. We need tourists to follow the warnings given by the lifeguards, especially because some of them may not be so lucky to survive,” Mr Suppachai said.

Later Tuesday afternoon, a local surfer and two other surfing enthusiasts had to rescue an Australian man from a dangerous rip at Surin Beach.

The surfer, who asked not to be named, is no stranger to the rip currents at Surin as he has lived – and surfed – in Phuket for about seven years.

Yet, even he rated the rip current at Surin Beach on Tuesday as dangerous.

“It was a very strong rip, about 50 metres south of the lifeguard tower. I was sitting on my board and suddenly I was about 50 metres away from where I was,” he told The Phuket News today.

Art-Tec Design

At about 5:30pm he saw an Australian man, about 30 years old, struggling while he was caught in the rip.

“He was big guy, more than six-feet tall and probably weighed more than 90kg. I pulled him onto my board and it nearly sunk,” the surfer explained.

“I looked up and could not see any lifeguards, so I called a bodysurfer and a boogie board rider over to help me and we got him back to shore safely,” he added.

“It was a situation that really needed lifeguards and proper rescue equipment and flotation devices,” the surfer noted.

The added danger is that tourists are easily tricked by the current weather and surf conditions into thinking that it is safe to enter the water, he added.

“The waves were not big, they were small waves, but the rip was very fast,” he said.

“Also, it was choppy. I only saw him because I was sitting up on my board. It would have been very unlikely that anyone on the beach would have been able to see him.

“I really think that if I weren’t there that this man could have drowned,” he added.

“There were red flags all along the beach – I could be wrong, but I could not see a dedicated swim area marked with yellow flags anywhere along the beach,” he noted.

The Phuket News has yet to confirm reports that LP Laikhum Co Ltd, which was contracted by the Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) only earlier this year to provide lifeguards at Surin, Bang Tao and Mai Khao beaches, is no longer doing so.

The Phuket News has received reports that a new company has taken up the role. However, again, grave doubts have been raised about whether or not the new lifeguards have been properly trained for surf rescues or whether they have even been provided the correct life-saving equipment.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

BenPendejo | 05 July 2018 - 15:40:56

I've said it numerous times, the lifeguards at Surin are not lifeguards.  They are constantly sitting in the shade with their backs to the sea...smoking and napping.  They need to be removed and replaced before someone dies.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Opinion: Falling into the Seychelles Sinovac hole

Like allowing private hospitals to sell the 94% effective Moderna vaccine for 3000B instead of citin...(Read More)


Foreign rider escapes fine for not wearing mask, gets warning instead

Wow- hunting down a foreigner for not wearing a helmet. I've just watched 20 thais ride past wi...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Falling into the Seychelles Sinovac hole

Thank you TPN Editor! Crap- O- Vac is not going to save Phuket Tourism from ineptitude, only a 3 wee...(Read More)


Moderna package likely below B3,000

Good news. If it happens, then that's a perfectly reasonable price point, and for a more effecti...(Read More)


Moderna package likely below B3,000

Sinovac is about to be approved by the WHO, so it's wrong to say it hasn't been. ...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Falling into the Seychelles Sinovac hole

A major distinction is that all visitors entering the Seychelles should have a negative PCR test. Th...(Read More)


July 1 is still on: Phuket Governor

Did Phuket Governor visited a glass ball fortune teller? 6000 and more tourists coming, billions of ...(Read More)


July 1 is still on: Phuket Governor

TUNA???????? WHAT??? Must be a typo right? ROFLMAO...(Read More)


July 1 is still on: Phuket Governor

GREAT NEWS! PHUKET IS OPENING AGAIN!!!!!!!!...(Read More)


PM eyes huge vaccine stockpile

CaptB the pharma companies don't hold the patents on these drugs. the American people do as it w...(Read More)