The warning, from the International Surf Lifesaving Association, comes as strong southwesterly monsoon conditions have whipped up the surf along the entire west coast.
“Strong winds, large waves, severe rip currents blasting Phuket's west coast. ISLA recommends all exposed west coast beaches be CLOSED until conditions improve,” The Phuket News was told this morning (today).
Among the dangers identified at beaches along the coast are severe fixed and “flash rip” currents, high surf and dangerous shorebreaks.
“These are rapidly changing conditions,” ISLA noted in its warning.
“ISLA recommends no water entry for swimmers at the following exposed beaches: Nai Harn, Kata Noi, Kata, Karon, Surin, Bang Tao, Layan, Nai Yang, and MaiKhao until at least 1800 hours (6pm) today,” the warning said.
“If wind and squalls subside between now and then, it may be possible to open swimming areas at these beaches. They need to be re-evaluated at 1800 hours today,” the warning explained.
A warning means these conditions are imminent, or are already occurring, ISLA noted.
“Beach visitors should only swim between red and yellow ‘Swim Here’ flags, and only at beaches where lifeguards are visible.
“Areas where red flags are posted should be strictly avoided. Beachgoers should not enter the water at all where red flags are posted,” ISLA added.