Connect with us


Lifeguard chief says budget cut will not impact service quality

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: The quality and number of lifeguards in Phuket will remain unaffected in the new contract despite a 10 percent cut in the budget, the president of the Phuket Lifeguard Club (PLC) told the Phuket Gazette today.

Public concern about the budget cut for Phuket’s lifeguards has been voiced by both the local and international communities here, with the California-based ‘International Surf Lifesaving Association’ (ISLA) sending a letter to Prime Minister Gen Prayuth Chan-o-cha last week, stating that the budget cut will cost Phuket hundreds of lives.

“The ISLA is aware that the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO) has, for the last
14 years, provided money for lifesaving services at many of Phuket’s beaches. However, our initial review indicates the services delivered do not meet international standards. In addition, the private tender model for providing this essential public safety service has resulted in numerous gaps of Lifeguard coverage over the last seven years,” the letter reads.

“The time periods without lifesaving services have ranged from a few weeks in some years, to months in others. These lapses in service leave Phuket’s dangerous ocean waters unguarded, and subjects Thai citizens and visitors to an even higher risk of drowning.

“ISLA wishes to voice strong opposition to Mr. Patomwatthanapong’s plan to reduce funding for Phuket’s lifeguards, when in reality much more needs to be done to bring Phuket’s lifeguarding service up to international standards.

“ISLA stands ready to assist in the development and advancement of Professional Lifesaving in Thailand. We can provide additional training and rescue equipment free of charge to help reduce the high number of preventable drowning cases in Phuket, but we (and the Thai Lifeguards) also need your support.”

PLC President Prathaiyut Chuayuan addressed both concerns, saying that they had solved the issue of accepting a lower amount of money, for doing the same job, by locating outside sponsors for the purpose.

“I have been doing this for five years. Last year the PPAO suddenly reduced the budget from 22 million baht to 19.8mn baht. Although they have the right to do that, it was still a shock for us. Since no one else took action, we had to do it ourselves,” Mr Prathaiyut said. “We can’t stand to watch people dying on our beaches – money is important, but lives are more important.”

He added that that although they had not officially been offered any help from ISLA, they would be happy to accept it if provided.

“As far as the gap between expiration of the old contract and signing of the new one is concerned, we have already submitted all the documents and are waiting for the PPAO to approve them,” PLC President Prathaiyut told the Gazette.

Nararit Touyon from the Tourist Department of the PPAO said that the process is nearing conclusion, and barring any unexpected events, they foresee no gap between the expiration of the old contract this Thursday (Jan 19) and the new one taking effect on Friday.

The gap between old and new contracts has been a problem for many years, as Phuket’s beaches are left unmanned during the transition period. The latest contract was signed in March 2016, for a period of 10 months (story here).

The year before, contract signing was delayed due to disagreement between the PLC and PPAO over the requirement for bidders on the contract to put down a 5 per cent deposit (story here), and before that, Phuket’s beaches went unguarded for almost a month, following lifeguards walking off due to disagreement about contract terms (story here and here).

— Kongleaphy Keam


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

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

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Thai Red Cross order of 5 million Moderna vaccines in proccess

Bangkok3 hours ago

Peaceful pro-democracy protests in Bangkok by Taloo-Fah

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Kanchanaburi prison builds field hospital for 379 Covid-19 cases

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)6 hours ago

Covid-19 train sends 1,490 infected from Bangkok to hometowns

Thailand7 hours ago

Covid-19 Poll: People trust doctors, social media, 85% confused.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Record high as Chon Buri hits nearly 800 Covid-19 infections

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Covid outbreak closes Nakhon Si Thammarat rubberwood processing factory

Thailand11 hours ago

Nearly 600 temples now offering free cremation services

Thailand12 hours ago

Phetchabun chicken processing plant sees over 3,000 infections

Phuket12 hours ago

New Covid-19 infections drop, still worrisome for Phuket Sandbox

Phuket12 hours ago

Phuket “car mob” protest demands the removal of PM, calls for mRNA vaccines

Thailand13 hours ago

Samut Sakhon Governor Veerasak offers to resign if communication in his province doesn’t improve

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Sunday Covid Update: 15,335 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)14 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 15,335 new infections, provincial numbers

Coronavirus Infections14 hours ago

DDC says infections still rising, possibly falling in Bangkok

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8