Beach lifeguard coverage boosted

PHUKET: Lifeguard coverage of Phuket’s beaches during the low season – when the island’s west coast becomes dangerous for swimming – will be more comprehensive this year. The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) announced yesterday that the watch on the beaches will begin on Friday, two weeks earlier than last year, and that there will be three extra lookout stations, one each on Kata beach, Kata Noi beach and Nai Harn beach. Like the other lifeguard stations, the new ones will have three lifeguards apiece and will be equipped with a jet-ski, oxygen tanks, a first-aid kit, binoculars and other life-saving equipment. One of the lifeguards will keep an eye on swimmers from a watch tower while the other two will patrol the beach, staying in touch with mobile phones. “Their duty is to care for the life and property of tourists on the beach, and to give tourists advice,” said Hanchai Chantarachota, president of the OrBorJor’s Tourism Committee. “We will also provide more swimming area signs and will distribute a brochure through beachfront hotels to let tourists know where lifeguards are, what the warning signs mean and the recommended places to swim, and giving a hotline telephone number,” said K. Hanchai. He noted that the lifeguard program, which started last year, had been highly effective in saving lives. “[Last monsoon season] the lifeguards saved 146 people from drowning – 71 on Kata and Karon beaches, and 75 on Patong beach,” he said, noting that between July 1 and October 31 only three people drowned compared with 38 in the same period the year before.

Phuket News
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