A post on the ISLA Facebook page yesterday (May 24) said the warning was issued following a “comprehensive 30-day beach audit of Phuket’s beaches [that] was conducted in April and May of this year.
“[Of] the following popular beaches, 17 out of 18, failed the audit: Rawai; Nai Harn; Kata Noi; Kata; Karon; Freedom Beach; Kamala; Kalim; Laem Singh; Surin; Pansea; Bangtao; Layan; Leypang; Nai Thon; Nai Yang; and Mai Khao.
The beached failed for several reasons explained the warning, “All 17 beaches had an inadequate number of lifeguards and stations; inadequate training and experience; inappropriate or non-existent rescue equipment; inappropriate or non-existent first aid equipment; no oxygen, airway, or bag-valve-mask; no communication [equipment]; no source of qualified backup; incomplete or no uniform; inattention to safety of beach patrons; and no knowledge of local conditions.
“The grade given to the these beaches is: Fail – Unsafe. Travellers are to reconsider travel to Phuket Thailand, due to dangerous unguarded beaches.”
“After a series of high-level meetings, we are no closer to our goal of improving Phuket’s lifeguard service. Vested interests in Phuket’s numerous local governments, along with inaction on the Phuket Governor’s part, have left us literally in the same position as three years ago,” said Mr Jenner in a statement.
“Currently there are no capable, certified lifeguards on Phuket, except Patong Beach,” he added.
Mr Jenner noted that the risk of drownings in Phuket rose each year with the rise in the number of tourists visiting the island.
“Tourist arrivals to Thailand are up a whopping 14% year-on-year, and Phuket’s beaches, which are plagued by dangerous flash-rip currents lure in more beach visitors every year. Phuket is facing an imminent drowning crisis,” he said.
Chinese, Russian, and Malaysian nationals are the most at risk, he noted.