Gov moves to reduce drowning toll

PHUKET: Phuket Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura is planning to erect signs at island beaches warning swimmers how to react if they get caught in a dangerous current. The idea follows a recent report that drowning claimed the lives of 13 tourists in the past eight months.

“I just met with a foreign expert in sea safety, and he told me that swimmers who get into trouble should not try to fight the current and swim back to shore. This only causes exhaustion and often leads to drowning. They should instead just float and wait for help, possibly waving to nearby boats for assistance,” he said.

The Governor added that he intends to call a meeting of sea safety experts and other officials in order to discuss other ways of reducing the death toll from drowning. This might involve extending the system of red warning flags to include flags flown from offshore buoys, where they will be more visible.

Gov Udomsak added that the 61 volunteer lifeguards yesterday finished a training course arranged by the Phuket Administration Organization (OrBorJor) and would be posted on island beaches soon.

The dangers of Phuket’s waters in the low season were highlighted recently by the drownings of five people in a five day period at the end of August.

Phuket News
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