Lookout towers to be built at beaches

PHUKET CITY: The Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) intends to build 12 permanent watchtowers, where observers can watch for signs of future tsunamis, and also monitor the safety of tourists.

Some of the towers will replace existing lifeguard stations; others will be completely new.

OrBorJor Vice-President Sutin Lean-Udom said there would eventually be three towers around Kata and Karon; three in Patong and Kalim; two at Surin Beach; and one each at Nai Harn, Kamala, Laem Singh and Bang Tao Beaches.

K. Sutin said he calculated that each tower would cost no more than 250,000 baht to build, and that the Bangkok Phuket Hospital had offered to pay for the construction of 10 of the 12.

He continued, “There were wooden towers used as lifeguard stations at Nai Harn, Patong, Karon and Surin Beach, but they were damaged by the tsunami.

“The new towers wouldn’t be used only to warn of tsunamis, though. The people in them could also watch out for sinking boats, tourists in difficulty in the water, or other things happening at sea.”

The plans have already been drawn up, and K. Sutin said he expected construction to begin within two months, with the towers being ready for use by September.

Parinya Siamhan, an OrBorJor member with responsibility for public safety, said, “The OrBorJor trained 60 beach guards in August 2004.

“Once these towers are completed, there could be two people based in each tower and a third on standy-by on the beach.

“We also intend to have six vehicles monitoring the beach areas as well.”

Phuket News
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