“The lifeguards will be on the beach from 8:30am to 6:30pm daily. They are ready to serve tourists at Surin Beach every day,” MaAnn Samran, Chief of the Cherng Talay Tambon Administration Organisation (OrBorTor), told The Phuket News today.
“Five lifeguards will be on standby at three points on the beach, and a chief lifeguard will move around these three points,” he said.
“The equipment we have to save people’s lives is ready at the lifeguard stations, and they have a jet-ski,” he added.
“Plus, there is an ambulance with a rescue team and an automated external defibrillator (AED) on standby at the Tourism Information Centre at Surin Beach for tourists,” Mr MaAnn explained.
However, Surin Beach remains closed to swimmers today with red flags dotted along the beachfront to warn tourists to not enter the water during the current dangerous swimming conditions.
The red flags were first posted along the beach last Friday (July 19) as a precaution as there were no lifeguards to patrol the beach. (See story here.)
Today, there are now lifeguards at Surin to at least warn swimmers what the red flags mean.
"For now, the red flags will stay until the current weather, and the weather warning, has passed. After that, the lifeguards will consider where safe zones can be set up so swimmers can play in the water," Mr MaAnn said.
The lifeguards on patrol at Surin are the same ones promised by Mr MaAnn to start by the end of July.
They have been hired on a month-by-month basis, with a contract budget of B170,520 for the first month, Mr MaAnn confirmed.
The lifeguards will continue to be hired under monthly contracts until the Cherng Talay OrBorTor is allowed to offer a contract for full-time lifeguards as the issue is now currently embroiled in a convoluted history of claims, counterclaims and accusations of malfeasance – and the death of a Hong Kong British tourist at the beach last month while there were no lifeguards on duty.
(For a recap of the current status of the issues involved in Surin Beach finally obtaining the services off lifeguards, click here.)