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


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join 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

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chiang Mai6 mins ago

Big vaccination push in Chiang Mai in bid to combat Covid-19 surge

Coronavirus Vaccines31 mins ago

First batch of Moderna doses to arrive Monday

Tourism1 hour ago

Government under pressure to lift alcohol ban, allow nightlife to resume

Sponsored3 weeks ago

Thailand private investigators will uncover the truth for you

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)2 hours ago

Monday Covid Update: 8,675 new cases and 44 deaths

Vietnam17 hours ago

Ho Chi Minh launches 3-stage reopening plan, international on January 1

Kanchanaburi17 hours ago

Border shacks to be demolished for aiding Burmese immigrants

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Tourism18 hours ago

Tourism calls for Russia and India to be added to safe list

Economy19 hours ago

Bank of Thailand plans real-world test of digital currency in 2022

Hua Hin20 hours ago

Hua Hin calls for delay in reopening amid Covid-19 infections

Chiang Mai20 hours ago

Chiang Mai Covid-19 infections swell ahead of reopening

Koh Samui21 hours ago

Thailand’s bars and beach parties remain strictly closed (cough)

Coronavirus (Covid-19)22 hours ago

Covid-19 Sunday: Deaths fall to low of 56, provincial data

Tourism23 hours ago

Ministry of Foreign Affairs sings praises of Thailand Pass

Coronavirus (Covid-19)23 hours ago

Covid-19 in prison: outbreaks from overcrowding now subsiding

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

Covid-19 deaths receding, but still here; 1 month old baby dies

Thailand1 month ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

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

Phuket8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand8 months ago

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

Tourism8 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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

Thailand10 months ago

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