During an inspection of lifeguards’ efforts at Patong Beach yesterday (July 15), Governor Narong called on all government agencies to step up efforts to protect tourists.
The inspection followed two tourists drowning at Kata Noi Beach on Thursday (July 14).
Lifeguards reported that the two men, one a British man on his honeymoon in Phuket, had ignored the red ‘no swimming’ flags and entered the water where it was dangerous to swim.
However, one eyewitness at the beach commented to The Phuket News that one of the two men who drowned, British national Ali Mohammed Mian, 33, lost his life trying to save the other tourist, a 55-year-old Thai man from Chiang Mai, “as lifeguards were too slow”.
“They were both swimming between red and yellow flags when they were swept out and across the breach. I witnessed the whole event,” the observer said.
State news agency NNT in marking Governor Narong’s Patong inspection yesterday reported, “Red flags have been posted to warn tourists to swim with caution, and lifeguards are stationed at the beaches to closely monitor the safety of tourists to prevent unexpected events and to build confidence for tourists.”
According to the report, Governor Narong said that his visit was to “support” the lifeguards working at Patong Beach.
“This is the [southwest] monsoon season when the waves are strong, and we are aiming to invite tourists to come to Phuket and have fun, and not have any unpleasant incidents,” Governor Narong said.
“All sectors and all relevant officials have been ordered to take care of tourists as best as possible,” he said.
“As a result of the strong winds during this period, special emphasis has been placed on vice governors, district chiefs, local government officials, police, lifeguards and those who work closely with tourists to closely monitor the safety of tourists visiting the area. So far we have found that the lifeguards are ready, which will give confidence to tourists who come to travel in Phuket,” the report concluded.