Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: Enigmatic beach flags

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

image
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET: You arrive at the beach ready for a day of sun, sea and sand, but you are greeted by a line of different colored flags lining the shoreline: red, red and yellow, yellow, blue, red and white chequered. Most people, myself included, aim for the area away from the red flag as they know what that means. The others are just colored fabric on a stick.

Four swimmers died on Phuket beaches in the period June 20 to 23 and over 30 tourists were pulled from the surf.

Tourists were partially blamed for getting themselves into difficulty by ignoring the warning flags. This spate of drownings and the large number of people rescued from the sea indicate either that people choose to ignore the warning flags or they have no idea what they mean.

Flags are important on beaches to inform users about local information, lifeguard services and potential safety risks. Signs and flags are important not only to people unfamiliar with the beach but also to regular beach users in relation to currents and changing conditions.

However, the flag system used on Phuket, although an international system, is not familiar to all beachgoers.

Some people may never have been to the beach before and some might have been to a beach that didn’t have a flag warning system.

How many beachgoers know them all? Red means beach closed; do not enter water; red and yellow, patrolled area – the safest swimming area; yellow, warning – potentially dangerous conditions; blue, aquatic activity allowed within the boundary; and red and white chequered, evacuate the water.

Another factor to consider is that people by nature tend to follow the crowd. If someone sees a group of people swimming in an area, they will instinctively think that it is safe and go in the water there, even if these people are swimming in a red-flag zone. It is then up to the lifeguard to move these people out of the dangerous surf area and keep them out.

One way to keep tourists out of harm’s way is by sensory overload. Bombard them with safety information that shows them the dangers of the sea and what exactly each flag color means.

This can be done through an inflight video, pamphlets at the airport, hotels, tourist attractions and huge signs at the beaches.

We have an obligation to help tourists enjoy their time safely here and get home alive.

— Winston Gunn

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

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

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Thailand

Trump decries “Thighland’s” unfair trade practices

Jack Burton

Published

on

image
PHOTO: Politico

OPINION Gaffe-prone US President Donald Trump, recently mocked for his mispronunciation of the name of Yosemite National Park as “YO-semite”, has stuck his foot in it again: Finland is obviously for fins, Switzerland for switzers, Iceland for ice and Holland for the nethers. Surely there’s a home for everyone’s favourite part of the leg, between hip and knee? Very stable genius Trump made a compelling case for it today, amazing the world with his unique pronunciation of the Land of Smiles. At a campaign event which hit the interwebs early this morning, Mr. Trump dropped his unique take on “Thighland” […]

Continue Reading

Opinion

Mushroom clouds and nuclear explosions – the fallout from the Beirut explosion – VIDEO

The Thaiger

Published

on

image

The world of instant experts and budding journalists kicks in moments after any event these days and reaches out almost instantaneously. The majority of people in the world first read about the Beirut chemical explosion on social media feeds, rather than mainstream media sources. Whilst most of the videos appeared horrifyingly authentic, captured by residents from wherever they were at the time, rumours about the cause of the blast quickly started circulating on platforms. From fireworks to nuclear explosions and numerous other conspiracies in between, the misinformation was outrunning the reality in the hours following the awful incident. The videos […]

Continue Reading

Opinion

Phuket’s killer boat Phoenix ripped apart for scrap metal

Tim Newton

Published

on

image
PHOTO: 'Phoenix', today being taken apart to be sold off as scrap metal - Stephen Crone

OPINION A very sorry sight today as an infamous relic of Thailand’s worst maritime disaster ends up being ripped apart and sold for scrap. Thai authorities will be glad to see the ghosts of ‘Phoenix’ gone once and for all. On July 5, 2018, two tour boats capsized off the south west coast of Phuket, during a sudden storm. 46 people died and 3 were missing, never to be recovered. They had all headed out for a fun day of diving off the Phoenix PC Diving, which carried 101 people, including 89 tourists. All but 2 of the guests were Chinese nationals. 42 […]

Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending