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Hazardous rip currents force closures of popular Phuket beaches

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: Dangerous rip currents at Kata and Karon have forced lifeguards to rope off sections of the beaches in an effort to keep swimmers from entering the most hazardous areas of surf today.

“Nobody should swim in the sea right now, the water is extremely dangerous,” Uten Singsom, Kata-Karon chief lifeguard, told the Phuket Gazette this morning.

Other areas of the beaches are marked with red “No Swimming” flags.

Mr Uten appealed to local hotels to help keep guests safe.

“Hotels should inform their guests not to swim where red flags are installed,” Mr Uten said.

Despite the ropes and flags, some beachgoers are still sneaking into the sea, he added.

“Even though we blow whistles and call them back to shore, they ignore us,” Mr Uten said.

“That makes our job harder. There are just 24 of us working on three dangerous beaches: Kata, Karon and Kata Noi. Please do not ignore the red flags, as you may risk your life in the dangerous waves.”

Two foreigners and four others who ignored the flags on June 12 were caught by a single wave and dragged away from Karon’s shore (story here). Five of the swimmers were rescued, but a 13-year-old boy in the group drowned (story here).

An Australian surf safety expert will teach a class, open to the public, on Thursday at Karon, on how to recognize dangerous rip currents (story here).

— Chutharat Plerin

 

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

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