The news follows a 52-year-old British national from Hong Kong drowning at Surin Beach yesterday after being caught in a rip that dragged him away from shore.
The man’s son, 25 years old, was rescued and rushed to hospital. (See story here.)
“We just start to find short-term lifeguards fast today. It is what we will do while waiting for the Thai Government Procurement process to be completed, through which we are looking for six lifeguards, an ambulance and volunteers to patrol Surin Beach for tourists’ safety,” Mr MaAnn said this afternoon.
“After the man from Hong Kong drowned at Surin Beach yesterday, I received lot of complaints about it,” MaAnn admitted.
“But people must know that although there was no lifeguard, there was a volunteer at the beach and there was a red flag to warn swimmers not to enter the water,” he added.
The red flag identified in a photo sent to The Phuket News, however, is attached to a tent set up near the road, nowhere near the water’s edge, not even on the sand where swimmers might see it.
“I do not know why if tourists are not strong, why do they go swimming in the water? They should not go as they are putting themselves in danger in strong surf,” Mr MaAnn said.
“Even though there is a volunteer around there, we all well know that the volunteer cannot be there at the beach to keep watch all day. They have to leave the beach at some time when they have things to do somewhere else,” he added.
“Plus, yesterday these tourists were [in the water] far from the volunteer point,” he added.
Local municipalities and tambon administration organisations have been responsible for ensuring that lifeguards are provided to patrol beaches in their areas since 2017, when the Phuket Governor at the time Norraphat Plodthong issued an order following the collapse of the Phuket lifeguard sytem that had worked for the previous 10 years. (See Special Report here.)