Connect with us


No resolution on horizon for Phuket lifeguard conundrum

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: There is no solution in sight for the Phuket lifeguard contract conundrum, which leaves the island’s beaches without essential life-saving services as the annual southwest monsoon season stirs up dangerous seas on the west coast, confirmed officials to the Phuket Gazette yesterday.

However, the president of the Phuket Lifeguard Club (PLC) proposed two solutions.

“One option would be for the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organization [PPAO] to create a long-term contract for us. However, we understand that this isn’t really possible, because they are given the budget annually,” said PLC President Prathaiyut Chuayuan.

“The other option would be for them to stop requiring the 5-per-cent deposit. Each year we are required to deposit 5 per cent of the concession.”

Mr Prathaiyut pointed out that the PLC didn’t have the capital to make the deposit until the contract had expired and last year’s deposit was returned to the company.

Though neither solution tabled by Mr Prathaiyut looks like it will become reality by next year, officials are searching for another solution.

“It’s about the renewal process, budget and management – it will take time to solve,” Watcharin Pathomwatanapong, chief administrator (palad) for the PPAO told Gazette yesterday. “However, the PPAO is trying to find a solution and will be talking to the governor about the problem.”

With lifeguards back on the beaches yesterday, after nearly two months of being off-duty, the PPAO has 10 months to make a change.

“I understand that Phuket is a popular tourist destination because of its beaches, and that it damages our reputation when there are periods of time when there aren’t any lifeguards on duty,” Mr Watcharin said. “However, we need orders from top government officials to change the current system.”

The bidding for the new contract was opened up almost six months prior to the contract ending. However, with only the PLC showing any interest and their ‘hands being tied’ when it comes to providing the deposit, no progress is made, explained Mr Watcharin.

“We don’t have enough officers trained in basic water rescue skills to protect the beaches when the lifeguards leave,” Mr Watcharin said. “So we are trying to talk with hotel operators near key tourist beaches about whether or not they would be able to help us by providing lifeguards. It is also possible that the local tambon administration organization (OrBorTor) or municipality could help.”

Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong told the Gazette yesterday that he supported the PPAO taking pro-active steps toward ensuring that the island’s beaches remained guarded year round.

“We will meet and talk with representatives of the PPAO and see what solutions we can develop,” Governor Nisit said. “We will do our best to make tourists feel confident in their safety while visiting Phuket.”

— Kongleaphy Keam


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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.

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)3 hours ago

Health Department warns: Avoid Covid-19, don’t have sex

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

PM Prayut announces Thailand will fully reopen within 120 days

Transport8 hours ago

Thai Airways rehabilitation plan accepted by Bankruptcy Court

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


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

Sponsored by image

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand News Today | PM apologises, vaccine delays, Pattaya sandbox? and sharks | June 16

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Restaurants request easing of Covid-19 rules and financial aid

Thailand8 hours ago

Isaan farmer and son electrocuted and killed by wire fence in rice field

Thailand9 hours ago

Another data breach: Info leaked on Bangkok Immigration website

Crime10 hours ago

Krabi men arrested after TikTok video of a shark shot and killed goes viral

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand’s FDA doesn’t approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, cites missing data

Best of11 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Krabi

Thailand11 hours ago

Thai government apologises for data leak, blames “temporary glitch”

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

6 school closed after infections are found

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 2,331 new cases; provincial totals

Best of13 hours ago

Top 5 Meditation Centres and Retreats in Thailand

Phuket13 hours ago

Thai police chief donates 100,000 baht to Phuket man shot by a drunk officer

Thailand3 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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