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Phuket Beach Safety: Why the guards are not there

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Beach Safety: Why the guards are not there | The Thaiger

PHUKET: As we move slowly away from the monsoon season and a record number of tourist drownings at the beaches, the Phuket Gazette asked the president of the Phuket Lifeguards’ Association why he and his 82 colleagues aren’t at work.

Prathaiyuth Chuayuan, 43, a veteran of 23 years on the sand, says it’s all about a contract. In his words:

“The old contract for the Phuket Lifeguard Association to patrol Phuket’s beaches has expired and we are still waiting for the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) to contact us about making a new one.

“Not having continual, “back-to-back” contracts affects our lifeguards. Many of them worry about whether they will be out of a job temporarily until a new contract is made, or permanently.

“Some lifeguards work full time, and I worry some of them might leave the association because of this uncertainty.

“Also, we cannot start any association activities that we have planned for this year since we do not know if we will continue being lifeguards or not.

“The OrBorJor should start taking steps to make a new contract two to three months before any current contract expires. This would ensure lifeguards can continue working right after the old contract ends.

“Having “rolling” contracts would make lifesaving and beach guarding much smoother. Tourists would feel safer too if they saw lifeguards on duty. Accidents in the sea are unpredictable. They can happen any day, any time.

“If uncertainty about their jobs prompts lifeguards to quit, then we will have to train new ones. But that cannot be done in one or two days. It’s not that easy and takes quite some time.

“To become a good lifeguard requires not only lifesaving skills, but also long-term experience in real situations. They need experience to feel confident in the surf.

“For example, being a good swimmer in a pool and being a good swimmer in the sea are not the same. The conditions in the sea change every day. It takes years to become a skillful lifeguard and to understand the surf.

“Ideally, we would not have lifeguards rescuing people, but rather we’d be stopping them from getting into dangerous situations at all.

“To do this effectively, lifeguards need to know not only how to save a life, but also which areas are safe to swim in [on any given day] which areas are not. Only then can lifeguards know which areas to focus on.

“Then comes beach management skills and handling tourists, which is another skill entirely.

“All this takes time, and having breaks in service [like this] is not helping us to do our jobs properly.”

For the Gazette’s latest report from the OrBorJor, click here.



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Phuket

Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | The Thaiger

A motorbike driver has filed a report with police against a cable company after he became tangled up in their cabling while driving to work in Kata.

26 year old Chakaree Yawaekaree filled the report with Chalong Police against the local cable company.

Mr Chakaree told Police that he was driving to work in Kata on Friday morning. When he arrived at the scene he ran into the cabling that had dropped down, just above the road level. The cables hooked his motorbike and caused him to crash and fall off. He was taken to hospital where he was treated for scrapes, grazes and a badly injured right knee.

Chalong Police say they are continuing their investigation. They say the cables belong to a private company and that this kind of incident happens “very often”.

Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger Motorbike driver files official complaint after accident from fallen cables in Kata | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Motorbike driver dies after colliding with sedan on Thepkasattri Road, Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Motorbike driver dies after colliding with sedan on Thepkasattri Road, Phuket | The Thaiger

A motorbike driver has died after colliding with a sedan driven by a Russian driver who was allegedly making a “risky” U-turn on Thepkrasattri Road in Koh Kaew yesterday.

The incident happened at 3.30pm yesterday.

Police and other emergency responders arrived to find a white sedan, a motorbike and a pickup truck.

The motorbike driver had sustained serious injuries – 19 year old Weerapat Chamnina – and had already been rushed tp Mission Phuket Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Police report that a white sedan, whose driver was a 37 year old Russian man, Maxim Shadrin, was heading along the southbound lane of Thepkasattri Road.

Police speculate that he was trying to make a U-turn but was allegedly out of the lane of traffic making the turn.

The motorbike collided with the rear of the man’s sedan.  The motorbike driver bounced off to the other side of the road (northbound lane).  Then a pickup truck hit the motorbike driver.

Police are continuing their investigation and examining all the CCTV footage.

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Phuket

54 year old Swede dodges traffic in Thepkasattri Road, Phuket

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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54 year old Swede dodges traffic in Thepkasattri Road, Phuket | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Achadtaya Chuenniran

A 54 year old Swedish tourist is now in custody after running around Thepkasattri road yesterday morning dodging cars and causing traffic mayhem. Luckily no cars came in contact with the man police described as ‘mentally ill’.

A video clip from the incident shows the man running in and out of the traffic on Thepkasattri Road in Thalang. The incident happened around 2.30am.

The road had to be closed for 20-30 minutes as police apprehended the man, unhurt. The motive for his dangerous antics have not become apparent at this stage.

The man, who remains named was taken to Thalang Hospital for checking then was transferred to Vachira Hospital in Phuket Town. Police revealed that his visa expired on the same day so they’ve contacted the local Swedish consular officials to check on the man’s family and travel situation.

The Swede is currently being evaluated and treated in the hospital’s psychiatric wing.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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