PHUKET: The lifeguards patrolling Phuket’s beaches have returned, and, as promised, with more lifesavers and jet-skis.
The contract between the Phuket Lifeguard Club (PLC) and the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization (OrBorJor) came into force on April 2, just in time for the dangerous wet season, and expires April 1, 2012.
The lifeguards patrol between 9am and 7pm at 13 beaches: Ya Nui, Nai Harn, Kata Noi, Kata, Karon, Patong, Kamala, Laem Singh, Surin, Bang Tao, Nai Thon, Nai Yang and Mai Khao.
“Last year there were 28 lifeguard stations with 83 lifeguards. This time we have 33 stations with 106 lifeguards,” said PLC president Prathaiyuth Chuayuan.
The increase in lifeguards has meant a boost in patrols at Karon, Patong and Bang Tao beaches, he added.
“Many people visit Karon Beach and Patong Beach. These two beaches are long and wide, and the sea there is also dangerous.
“That is why we have more lifeguards patrolling these two beaches than any other beaches we look after. We now have 18 lifeguards on Karon Beach and 15 at Patong,” said Mr Prathaiyuth.
“Not as many people visit Bang Tao Beach, but that beach is very long too, so we have dedicated 16 lifeguards to patrol there,” he said.
Mr Prathaiyuth added that lifesavers have four more jet-skis at their disposal to use in emergencies and for patrolling offshore.
“During monsoon season, from June to September, we will rent four more jet-skis. So, we will have eight in total. We plan to use the jet-skis at Karon, Kata, Surin and Nai Thon beaches,” he said.
Mr Prathaiyuth also warned bathers to beware of sharp rocks hidden beneath the water.
“At Ya Nui, many people have injured their feet this month because they have stepped onto rocks and small shellfish and shells on the sandy bottom. Some of them were injured badly and we had to send them to hospital or to local health clinics for treatment,” he said.
To save more people from injury, lifeguards will install signs warning them about the sharp objects in the water, he added.
— Janpen Upatising
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