It is already clear that the island’s current lifeguard situation isn’t working. Sadly, it is also very clear that very little is being done to change this.
But let’s take the issue away from the lifeguards – be they qualified to international standards or not – for once and let’s turn our attention to the ignoramuses who continue to ignore the red flag warnings on the beaches and also choose to go into the sea after dark when lifeguards are no longer on duty.
Only those people who choose to ignore the red flag warnings or go for a swim after dark know why they do it, and sadly it is clear that lifeguards can do very little about it.
To be fair, lifeguards actually have no power when it comes to stopping people ignoring the red flags, all they can do is advise them against it, advice which is clearly ignored.
Perhaps these ignoramuses know that lifeguards have no power to stop them and so still go into the water.
Perhaps these ignoramuses come from countries where the power of a whistle means nothing, and to be honest there are plenty of countries like that.
But if the power of the lifeguards and the power of the whistle don’t stop people going into the dangerous surf then attention must be turned to what will, which is obviously only if Phuket wants its drowning incidents reduced.
There are currently an estimated 335,425 active Royal Thai Armed Forces personnel in the country, and for the sake of it let’s just say there are 25 beaches on the west coast. If the Royal Thai Armed Forces were to provide just 30 personnel for each beach (750) that would be a tiny percentage of their estimated personnel.
This might seem like a drastic measure, but with the current drowning situation clearly not getting any better, and with people continuously ignoring warnings, it might be the only option.
It is clear that the red and yellow uniforms don’t have the desired effect on the public, but perhaps some camouflaged military uniforms and matching sidearms might just do the trick.