Connect with us


3 drownings in 3 days prompts Phuket plea to obey red flags



PHUKET: Following three tourists drowning at Phuket beaches within three days, the island’s authorities have issued a public plea for everyone to heed red warning flags, marking that the surf is too dangerous to swim.

The plea follows the drowning death of Indian tourist Ramesh Chand Singhal, 49, at Kata Beach (map here) on Saturday.

Mr Singhal, on holiday with friends staying at Mai Khao Beach on Phuket’s northwest coast, travelled south to Kata Beach to enjoy the surf there, said Lt Sathaporn Seenoon of the Karon Police.

“He was pulled from the water unconscious and received CPR, then rushed to Patong Hospital, but he was pronounced dead on arrival,” Lt Sathaporn said.

The drowning of Mr Singhal follows that of Belgian Laurent Wanter, 43, at Laem Sing Beach on Thursday and of 29-year-old Russian national Aleksandr Poleshchenko near Loma Park (map here) in Patong barely 30 minutes later (story here).

Uten Singsom, head of the Kata-Karon Lifeguard Club, told the Phuket Gazette today that his lifeguards pulled more than 30 tourists from the water over the weekend.

“About eight people were sent to hospital,” he said.

So busy were the lifeguards at Kata and Karon beaches that they did not have time to record all the rescues performed, he said.

“As soon as we pulled one tourist out, we had to run to help others,” said Mr Uten.

“We have warning signs in many languages. I see tourists stop to read the signs, then walk straight into the water.

“I understand that tourists come to Phuket to swim at the beach, but if they really want to swim please swim where lifeguards are on duty and be careful of dangerous rip currents,” a frustrated Mr Uten said.

Lt Sathaporn of the Karon Police expressed the same frustration.

“There are red flags and lifeguards to warn tourists not to swim where it is dangerous, but they still go in the water,” he said.

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Choti Chavalviwat made a public appeal for tourists to respect the red flags and lifeguards’ warnings.

“We would like to warn everyone not to swim or play in the water at the beach because there are strong winds and big waves at this time. The waves are currently up to three meters high. They are very dangerous,” Maj Gen Choti said.

“Karon Municipality, lifeguards and hotel owners have the red flag posted to warn tourists – and other beachgoers – to not swim in dangerous areas at this time,” he added.

Lifeguards stationed at Phuket’s popular beaches urged tourists to beware the dangerous surf and rip tides brought on by the return of the annual southwest monsoon as early as June 3 this year (story here).

That warning came as the club’s local government contract to provide their essential life-saving services was approaching its expiry date – this Thursday, June 27.

To avoid further calamity, the contract was granted an emergency extension until July 27 (story here).

Phuket Lifeguard Club President Prathaiyut “Nut” Chuayuan is expected to continue negotiations with the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (PPAO) this afternoon to ensure his lifeguards continue to patrol Phuket beaches.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


Get more from The Thaiger

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

What you get for $X4 hours ago

What $100,000 buys you for a condo in Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Hua Hin

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Activists plan protests all across Thailand

Thailand6 hours ago

Snitching on parking space hoggers could earn you 5,000 baht in Thailand

Sponsored14 hours ago

10 Best Seed Banks that Ship Cannabis Seeds Discreetly to You (Free US Shipping)

Weather6 hours ago

Storm Noru weakens from typhoon to depression as it moves across Thailand

World7 hours ago

Suicide bombing in Afghanistan hits students preparing for exam

Politics8 hours ago

BREAKING: Prayut reinstated as Prime Minister of Thailand

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Technology8 hours ago

What role for Thailand in China’s great European EV invasion?

Cambodia8 hours ago

Cambodian delegation in UK to seach for stolen treasures

Thailand9 hours ago

20 baht notes printed with errors, says Bank of Thailand

Crime9 hours ago

Loan shark bombs debtor’s house in southern Thailand

Thailand10 hours ago

Thai researchers develop flood-resistant rice strain

Press Room10 hours ago

Southeast Asia’s hospitality leaders step into the ring to fight for sustainability at PHIST 5

Crime10 hours ago

Horrified relatives attempt ID of disfigured suitcase victim

Travel10 hours ago

Things to do in Bangkok that cost next to nothing (2022)

Travel11 hours ago

5 best spa treatments in Bangkok to pamper yourself this September – October

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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