Connect with us

Opinion

Opinion: No time to let our guard down

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO) and the Phuket Provincial Governor’s Office must take emergency measures to return lifeguards to active duty at west coast beaches as soon as possible.

The two key governmental offices must also work out a long-term solution to end the annual contract disputes that have left beaches unpatrolled for long periods in recent years – and at the worst possible time: just before the annual southwest monsoon returns to whip up the surf into a lethal maelstrom.

Events in Phuket since the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) took control more than almost a year ago have shone the spotlight on security issues facing Phuket, with much of the focus correctly trained on illegal activities at the west coast beaches.

With few exceptions, most notably the notorious jet-ski rental industry, these threats have been neutralized, at least for now. Simultaneously, the island’s most precious natural resources have rightfully been returned to the public domain, where they can best serve as a natural tourism asset – rather than as a veritable flock of golden geese for corrupt local politicians, state officials and their minions.

Unfortunately, annual contract disputes between long-time service provider the Phuket Life Club (PLC) and its concessionaire the PPAO remind us that the key component of beach safety – drowning prevention – remains a serious and ultimately fatal flaw in our overall beach-management strategy.

The PPAO, under the stewardship of Paiboon ‘The Pink Panther’ Upatising, has maintained the regulatory transparent and cost-effective standards set for outsourcing the island-wide lifeguard concession under its annual bidding scheme.

One can only imagine how many more lives would have been lost, not to mention how much more money would have been wasted, had these concessions been locally administered by the same administrative bodies that now stand accused of operating the billion-baht beach plot rental scheme.

However, the failure, once again, to attract any bids under current PPAO requirements leaves these same beaches unguarded, as the so-called “drowning season” rapidly approaches.

As with any international beach tourism destination with world-class pretensions – not to mention some of the world’s statistically deadliest monsoon-season rip currents – Phuket must have lifeguards patrolling our beaches each and every day of the year.

It is depressing to think of how many times the phrase “ignored red flags and verbal warnings by lifeguards” has appeared in the reports of one drowning tragedy after another.

Each and every drowning death that occurs at a formerly patrolled beach will now serve as a reminder of the need to find solutions to a problem that, in essence, should not be hard to fix.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand5 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Nov 1 reopening proposed; arrest for “sexy” officer cosplay | September 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid-19 UPDATE: Provincial totals, vaccinations and more

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Contrary to Anutin, US says delivery of vaccines awaits Thailand

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand9 hours ago

Sunsets, ‘Farangs’ and Boring Charisma | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 25

Thailand9 hours ago

CCSA approves reopening delay, state of emergency extension

Thailand10 hours ago

Video of feet on bread appears to be from India, not Thailand

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Thailand’s security council approves Emergency Decree extension | Sep 24

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

Phuket Covid-19: 3 new deaths, 322 released from medical care

Malaysia12 hours ago

Malaysia considers further re-opening to domestic tourism

Thailand12 hours ago

Thailand Re-opening, Costs and challenges | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 96

Weather12 hours ago

Weather warning issued as tropical storm Dianmu approaches

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Education ministry to accelerate vaccination of over 200,000 teachers

Myanmar14 hours ago

US judge orders Facebook to disclose anti-Rohingya content as part of international case against Myanmar

Tourism14 hours ago

Tourism operators slam government as re-opening postponed to November

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Friday Covid Update: 12,697 new cases and 132 deaths

Tourism3 days ago

Travel data to Thailand for 106 million people unprotected online

Economy5 days ago

Cuts to import duty on alcohol, cigars, part of plan to entice wealthy foreigners

Crime3 days ago

OnlyFans content creators arrested by Thai police on pornography charges

Thailand4 days ago

Party at luxury villa in Phuket raided, homeowner allegedly assaults police officer

Coronavirus Vaccines5 days ago

Doctors say cardiac arrest caused death of man given AstraZeneca booster shot

Tourism6 days ago

Local businesses say they aren’t profiting from Phuket Sandbox

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 days ago

Covid-19: Detailed info on vaccinations, hospitalisations, and provinces

Thailand4 days ago

Around 20 people arrested at Koh Samui restaurant for drinking alcohol, gambling, playing pool

Bangkok4 days ago

Governor says Bangkok will only re-open when safe to do so

Thailand4 days ago

Bangkok re-opening Criteria, Thai Airways keeps Struggling | Good Morning Thailand | Episode 93

Phuket2 days ago

Police suddenly began raiding Patong bars selling alcohol

Thailand4 days ago

Morning Top Stories | No approved October re-opening, Phuket easing restrictions | September 20

Crime2 days ago

Ex-cop “Joe Ferrari,” other officers charged with violating discipline policy over suspect’s death

Phuket5 days ago

Phuket domestic travel rules need streamlining, officials discuss

Thailand4 days ago

Government warns that posting pornographic material is illegal following OnlyFans creator being questioned by police

Thailand1 week ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism7 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand8 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending