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Without Phuket lifeguards, Chinese tourist drowns at Karon Beach

Without Phuket lifeguards, Chinese tourist drowns at Karon Beach

PHUKET: A 29-year-old Chinese tourist has drowned at Karon Beach, marking the first death since the Phuket Lifeguard Service declined to renew its bid to provide lifeguard services on the island last Saturday (Oct 1).

By The Phuket News

Friday 6 October 2017, 05:28PM

Attempts to revive the Chinese tourist on the beach failed. Photo: Supplied

Attempts to revive the Chinese tourist on the beach failed. Photo: Supplied

Rachen Phuntarakit, the Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) at Karon Municipality gave the tourist’s name as “Sa Gnan”, who was reportedly staying at a resort in Patong.

Karon Municipality Civil Defense Volunteers patrolling the beach found Mr Sa floating in the water at 4:45pm yesterday (Oct 5), Supachai Chanphet, head of the Department of Disaster Prevention & Mitigation division at Karon Municipality told The Phuket News today.

“It is very sad. They rushed to bring him onto the sand and tried to revive him, but their efforts failed,” the official said.

“We have no idea how he died, even though our officers were there. There water was not too deep water and there were no red flags posted in the area.

“A team of local rescue workers rushed him as quickly as they could to Chalong Hospital*, but he did not survive,” the official added.

Laguna Golf Phuket

“Police have been notified of the death, and Chinese consular officials have also been informed already,” he said.

Wanchai Saetan, Public Works Chief at Karon Municipality, explained on Wednesday this week (Oct 4) that currently a mix of trained lifeguards, Civil Defense Volunteers and Navy personnel a providing “beach safety” at Kata and Karon, on Phuket’s southwest coast.

“We cannot hire lifeguards [to replace all the trained lifeguards who used to patrol the area] for the time being, but some of those who previously worked as lifeguards at our beaches have stayed to patrol and carry out rescues for free, for the time being,” he said.

“At this stage I cannot confirm exactly how many lifeguards we have, but we do also have local DDPM and Civil Defense Volunteers as well as some Navy personnel providing assistance,” he added. (See story here.)

* The “Accident & Emergency Centre” at the site where the Chalong Hospital is still under construction.


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Rorri_2 | 08 October 2017 - 10:00:52

....The hotels already pay, for the lifeguards, there was a tax, put on their rooms, some years ago, to pay for the lifeguards. I wonder where that money has really gone to, obviously not to the lifeguards.

Kurt | 08 October 2017 - 09:44:49

....numerous hotels ( not all hotels!) pay already tourist tax to the government.
Let the Government first collect tourist tax from ALL hotels/Guesthouses.
Then inform the citizens how much that is yearly and how the Government spends it.
Beach safety is a government task/responsibility.

The yearly charade of last moment Beach Guard budget negotiations is a shame.
It almost looked like the ...

Foot | 08 October 2017 - 09:34:41

The Phuket News reported on 5 October, 2017 that “…The Phuket Provincial Administration Organisation (PPAO, or OrBorJor) – which launched a 1% room tax on all hotel rooms rented out across the island in 2000 on the promise of providing lifeguards at Phuket’s beaches…”
Based on β2 billion in hotel income each year, x 1% (as set up in 2000), Phuket would have a yearly budget of β20...

ppkiwis | 07 October 2017 - 14:49:02

Why don't the numerous hotels all put in some contribution to help pay for the life guards, it's in their interest to keep the tourists coming to Phuket, and to keep them safe. It's a no brainer really.

BenPendejo | 06 October 2017 - 21:47:25

China needs to issue a harsh travel advisory, discouraging people from going to Thai beaches until these morons get something effective in place... and a 3 day training course is NOT the answer. Dumb Dumb Dumb.  RIP to the poor young tourist and my condolences to all the friends and family that have just been gutted by this tragedy.

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