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Phuket beach surf safety urged amid ‘monsoon surge’

PHUKET: Swimmers at all Phuket beaches have been urged to exercise high caution today (Aug 13) as a strong ‘monsoon surge’ pounds the west coast with powerful waves.

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By The Phuket News

Monday 13 August 2018, 12:50PM


Tourists in the water at Nai Harn yesterday despite the powerful surf pounding the west coast. Photo: Phuket Naiharn Surf Lifesaving Club

Tourists in the water at Nai Harn yesterday despite the powerful surf pounding the west coast. Photo: Phuket Naiharn Surf Lifesaving Club

The warning comes from the Royal Thai Navy Hydrographic Department and the International Surf Lifesaving Association (ISLA).

The Royal Thai Navy Hydrographic Department has issued a warning of a “Monsoon Surge” as strong waves pound the west coast, causing much damage as the beaches are being eroded by the waves.

The beach erosion over the weekend saw two lifeguard watch stations – one a lifeguard tower – literally fall to the waves. (See story here.)

Capt Wanchi Janlaiad of the Navy’s Hydrographic Department explained that the surge is an annual phenomenon caused by the southwest monsoon – and that the powerful waves and strong winds were expected to continue for the next two to three days.

The ISLA this morning recognised the change in weather, but also urged all swimmers with exercise caution as warnings were still in place for high waves and dangerous rip currents.

“The TMD radar is clear for now, and onshore winds have decreased. The only ISLA warnings in effect at this time are: HIGH SURF and RIP CURRENTS.

“A warning means these conditions are imminent, or are already occurring,” ISLA noted in its report this morning.

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However, the warning also noted, “Conditions can change rapidly. If onshore winds increase, dangerous surf conditions can return quickly.”

Wiwat Chitchertwong, who has been appointed Acting Chief of the Phuket Marine Office since the Phoenix tour boat disaster on July 5, warned all small boats to proceed with caution as strong wind waves are forecast to reach two to four metres high.

The warning by the national weather bureau, the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD), remains in effect for Aug 12-15.

The TMD noted in he warning, “The southwest monsoon over the Andaman Sea will intensify, causing the Andaman Sea waves to reach 2-4 meters high with wave height more than 4 meters.

“People along the Southwest coast (Andaman coast) should beware of the dangerous waves.”

“Small boats should be kept out of the water during this time, and all boat operators should check the readiness of the boat and engine and prepare the vessel equipment, including ensuring that life-saving devices are available at any time, and all people on board should wear a life jacket while on the boat,” the warning read.

“Also check announcements from the Thai Meteorological Department closely and assess the weather along the (designated) route, evaluate the performance of the ships under their control in accordance with the principles of navigation and strictly follow the orders of the port authority,” the warning added.

 

 

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Rorri_2 | 14 August 2018 - 06:07:02

"Wiwat Chitchertwong, who has been appointed Acting Chief of the Phuket Marine Office since the Phoenix tour boat disaster on July 5, warned all small boats to proceed with caution as strong wind waves are forecast to reach two to four metres high," but not being banned from leaving port, where is his duty of care, oops, forgot, it's his bank account.

vegasbaby | 13 August 2018 - 20:23:38

You can't be a world class holiday destination when your tourism customers drown on the beaches, burn to death on an exploding tour boat, or die on a steep hill while on a bus tour crash.  Wake up Thailand!

BenPendejo | 13 August 2018 - 18:46:24

Jeez...warnings galore. Capt Wanchi only makes his observations from the comfort of his office. You can see by the pictures and by going outside that the waves are much smaller and the winds are the lightest they've been for over a month. Evidently, nobody told the beach boys in Patong about the small craft warning as parasailing and jetskis were in full swing today. Masters of lip service

Kurt | 13 August 2018 - 15:53:21

Same Government departments warnings over and over again.
It seems that governor, vice governors not read them.
Their passiveness in not have a professional lifeguard  system/structure at Phuket beaches is becoming more and more a incompetence story. A bad dream for tourists as well.

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