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Phuket Poll: How to best prevent more Phuket beach drownings?

Phuket Poll: How to best prevent more Phuket beach drownings?

PHUKET: Each year the southwest monsoon arrives, swirling the surf along Phuket’s west coast into a deadly morass of foam and brine, with lethal rip currents dragging unsuspecting tourists out to sea, sadly often to their deaths.

By The Phuket News

Tuesday 17 May 2016, 04:05PM

Phuket lifeguards are kept busy during the southwest monsoon as more and more beach-goers need rescuing from the dangerous surf at this time of year.

Phuket lifeguards are kept busy during the southwest monsoon as more and more beach-goers need rescuing from the dangerous surf at this time of year.

The dangers of the strong waves and rip currents are announced by many agencies time and again at this time of year, but seemingly falling on deaf ears, with lifeguards at beaches along the coast repeatedly reporting incidents of beach-goers ignoring lifeguards’ warnings.

To this, The Phuket News asks our readers, “What do you think is the best way to prevent drownings at Phuket beaches during the southwest monsoon?”

Responses available are:

  • More and better-equipped lifeguards
  • Improved safety campaigns, including more warning signs and mandatory warning pamphlets in hotel rooms and at the airport
  • Compulsory surf danger education by all tour companies selling tours to Phuket at this time of year
  • Compulsory surf safety education for all children in Phuket
  • All of the above
  • None, enough warning is already provided

Please note that respondents can choose multiple options in this poll.

To cast your vote, click here.

The poll will run online until May 31.

If you don’t see your preferred response above, feel free to add it in the comments section below.

To see the results of our previous poll, which asked, “Should Phuket street art stay?”, click here.

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Joe12 | 25 May 2016 - 18:09:06

Christy...sure, not a problem. I have more chance of being hit by lightning standing under a tree sheltering from the rain than on a platform on the beach. The odds of being struck by lighting is some 1:1 million. With those odds I have more chance of winning a major lottery. 

Who cares about US standards...no-one. The world does start and end in the US. It's basic common scientific knowled...

Christy Sweet | 25 May 2016 - 08:27:13

Nasa12, Those oil platforms are enclosed, as per US standards. Also they are on the open sea, and not on a beach and that was what my original comment was regarding. Beaches get hit by lightening far more than random spots in the ocean. Perhaps Joe 12 will respond to my query, would he stay in the Surin beach tower during an electrical storm?

Joe12 | 24 May 2016 - 18:57:04

Old Boater..sorry man, but I will only stop when comments are factual; without innuendo; properly thought out and well reasoned  but mostly are not disrespectful to the Thai people and it's nation. Most people seem to think they can say what they like and rubbish everyone and everything with impunity.

Old Boater | 24 May 2016 - 15:34:00

Petty, childish comments like fighting children by most of above and time to stop now or get banded from site by moderator.  Shame on you all!  cast your vote on quiz, period.

Nasa12 | 24 May 2016 - 07:56:16

Christy Sweet@ You thing they building all oil plattform in the word whit planks ? We have the older oil platform in Norway building in steel in 1969. And what about all the Ships in the word are the mack off planks to ?

Nasa12 | 24 May 2016 - 07:32:58

Ed Sanders@ You don`s see  the Lifeguard tower at Kata? Then you ned new glasses man, it`s be there for over 10 years, 100 meter from Kata Beach Resort Hotell.

Christy Sweet | 23 May 2016 - 09:31:05

Joe 12, insults for argument is just not impressive- quite the opposite. So we'll see you in that (not enclosed) metal  tower on Surin next storm? (A few of us might make a party of it.) And lifeguards on Phuket certainly are paid- and some do goof off and run side line businesses. Additionally, your term Surf life savers is relevant only to Australia, so-as you pointed out, if other country r...

Joe12 | 22 May 2016 - 18:13:33

Good old Ed. hasn't got a clue about me yet can mouth off and tell me that I obviously don't go to the beach. Well big mouth, for the record Ed my association with Surf Lifesaving stems from over 40 years of involvement, so your observation as usual is wrong. As I say, Surf lifesavers are volunteers and it's a credit to them that they can provide their time, in the interests of communi...

Joe12 | 22 May 2016 - 18:03:33

Christy...Firstly, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a United States trade association, that has no application whatsoever in anywhere but the US. So, the NFPA is meaningless. 

Most countries have compliance of products and services that is normally voluntary, unless the products or services are regulated by Government. 

I know that reading and comprehension is not your stro...

Rorii | 22 May 2016 - 16:20:42

Joe12/Ed/Alan/ his proxy, can you show some evidence, eg links, that prove those towers are made of\"steel\"? Oh wait, you have yet to show \"proof\" of anything you comment on.

Ed Sanders | 22 May 2016 - 15:57:09

Metal towers are used in many areas, although fiberglass and wood are also common. Lifeguards throughout the world have voiced concerns about working in metal towers, and many places have move away from metal. With metal towers, it is vital to ensure proper construction of the actual shack portion, so that all surfaces are made of non-conductive materials, and that the tower is properly grounded. ...

Christy Sweet | 22 May 2016 - 15:03:12

OK Joe 12, let's have a Google off !! http://www.usla.org/?page=Lightning "Locations that do not offer protection from lightning: Lifeguard stands that are not fully enclosed and compliant with NFPA 780 lightning guidelines." http://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/document-information-pages?mode=code&code=780
 So is the Surin Beach stand complaint to NFPA 780 standards?

Joe12 | 21 May 2016 - 21:29:39

Photo's of steel towers on beaches in Australia. More if you want to check in other parts of the world. It's the nonfunctioning brain of the wizard commentators on here that needs to be replaced.

Don't know why you feel the need to rubbish volunteers who...

Christy Sweet | 21 May 2016 - 13:35:13

A lifeguard tower, on a beach, made out of metal. Now that is STUPID.

Ed Sanders | 20 May 2016 - 22:47:17

I haven't seen the tower at Kata... but hopefully whoever designed it had a functioning brain... unlike the wizard at Surin that built a new tower out of metal pipe.  It is great for a lightening rod, but not so great for a manned facility.  Whoever proposed and approved this idiotic tower in Surin needs to be replaced.

Nasa12 | 19 May 2016 - 06:40:21

Richard Vickers@ a am 110% totally agree with you, but begin to use the tower at Kata, get much more visibility. Then I start and take some picture again when Life Gard has the School in Full Life Gard Uniform.

Sam hayman | 18 May 2016 - 18:47:45

What you need are the rubber duckies ( with outboard engine ) and jet skis lifeguards in AUS and U.S use to get out quickly in huge surf and patrol behind the rip. The problem at the moment is the rescue boards take too long for the lifesavers to get out past the break in big waves. Clearly, you need more funding for this.

Another problem i see is the lifeguards never seem to do proper training...

Richard Vickers | 18 May 2016 - 16:46:31

Agree with Ed...very dangerous beaches here, and NONE of these guys would have lifeguard jobs on the beaches in the US or Australia. Disagree with Christy though... Naithon is a VERY dangerous beach during low season, and Naithon lifeguards are probably the most proactive in all of Phuket. They establish a sun shelter close to the waters edge and constantly monitor the clueless and drunken fools (...

Kurt | 18 May 2016 - 10:24:40

Ed Sanders, I agree 100% about your comment.
Did anyone ever seen the Lifeguards doing training sessions at the beaches? 
Role play, a life guard plays he is in problems in the water and other life guards go to rescue him out of a rip current?

I presume before one can become lifeguard he must undergo training before becoming a certified lifeguard, Right? 
Where these trainings take place?


Christy Sweet | 18 May 2016 - 09:59:21

Lifeguards on Nai Thon have been known to rope off a tiny 20 meter or so section for supervised swimming so instead of doing their job, they can all huddle together in a shack. Then they make a huge raucous with whistles should you venture out of the zone but you can ignore them- they have no authority.  Incidentally, this beach is very safe year round as is the extreme north end of Bang Tao.

Nasa12 | 18 May 2016 - 05:58:41

The LifeGuards on Kata most end to rent out wakeboard and take class fore teaching Farang to and use a wakeboard, the don`t get paid for that. And maybe 1 Lifeguard stay in the tower in Kata all day, a never si Lifeguarde on this Tower and i live here fore 9 year in Kata.

Ed Sanders | 17 May 2016 - 21:37:02

Some of the Phuket lifeguards appear to be properly trained and are diligent on their post, but by far the majority of these kids sit around eating, playing with their phones, smoking, and bullshitting with their friends. With some of the hazardous conditions that can happen here on Phuket, most of the lifeguards could hardly save themselves let alone somebody else. Like everything else overseen b...

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