Mr MaAnn only last week promised that trained, qualified lifeguards will start this week.
The lifeguards were being hired under a B170,000 short-term arrangement, month by month, to patrol Surin Beach, and had to be hired on only a temporary basis as legal issues still prevent the OrBorTor from offering a government contract to provide full-time lifeguards, he explained last Wednesday (July 10). (See story here.)
The move to rush to hire temporary lifeguards followed a 52-year-old British national from Hong Kong drowned at Surin Beach on July 3 after being caught in a rip that dragged him away from shore.
The man’s 25-year-old son was rescued and rushed to hospital. (See story here.)
Mr MaAnn last Wednesday said, “There will be five lifeguards and a lifeguard team leader with five automated external defibrillator (AEDs), a jet-ski and other surf life-saving equipment at their disposal,.
“I have been told these lifeguards have two years’ experience working as lifeguards in Phuket and they have lifeguard training certifications. I don’t know which company they used to work for, but they are qualified to be lifeguards,” he assured.
Mr MaAnn last week did admit that yesterday (July 15) was only a tentative start date, but has now admitted that there is a delay in having trained albeit temporary lifeguards at the tourist-popular beach due to “problems with details in the contract”.
Mr MaAnn yesterday declined to explain to The Phuket News exactly what the problems were.
“There are some problems with the details in the contract to hire the lifeguards, so I am not able not to have them start this week. We have to postpone the start date,” Mr MaAnn said.
“Also, we have to wait for the official who is looking after this issue to be available, which will be on Thursday,” he added.
“On Thursday, I will be able to explain in more detail the conditions for making contract with them,” he said.
Mr MaAnn at this stage was not even confident that the temporary lifeguards will be able to start sometime this month.
“I can’t confirm when they will start. I will try hard to make it as fast as possible,” he said.
In the meantime, only one person remains at the beach as a volunteer on the OrBorTor’s behalf to warn tourists of the dangers of strong waves and deadly rip currents at the beach during this time of year.
The man, who confirmed to one local resident yesterday that he was indeed the “lifeguard on duty”, was noticed to be sitting mostly with his back to the surf.
Only one red flag had been planted in sand to warn tourists to not enter the water.