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Phuket Poll: Keeping lifeguards on the beaches

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Poll: Keeping lifeguards on the beaches | The Thaiger

PHUKET: As regular as the return of the deadly rainy-season surf that will soon lurk off Phuket’s west coast, the island is again facing the reality of not having any lifeguards on the beaches to save and protect swimmers – tourists and residents alike – from drowning.

The lifeguards packed up their life-saving equipment and walked off Phuket’s beaches at 6:30pm on March 26, the president of the Phuket Lifeguard Club confirmed to the Phuket Gazette.

A Surin Beach lifeguard also told the Gazette that night that they had crossed the red-yellow flags for the last time, indicating the closure of the safe-swimming area.

“Lifeguards have managed to keep Surin Beach drowning free for more than five years. Neighboring beaches, such as Bang Tao and Laem Singh, have not been so lucky, with numerous drownings occurring there over that same time period,” he said.

“Surin Beach Lifeguards have closed the swimming area for the last time as money for lifesaving services has run out. The loss of ocean lifeguards across Phuket comes as the monsoon season and the dangerous rip currents that come with it are approaching.

“The crossed red and yellow flags indicate the closing of the safe swimming area – usually just for the day – but the lifeguards will not be returning. When the lifeguards will return is unknown at this time.”

This year, as with years past, no one even filed a bid for the government concession to provide lifeguards to patrol the beaches. Not even the Phuket Lifeguard Club, which has provided the essential life-saving service for years (story here).

Last year, the contract debacle saw Phuket beaches void of lifeguards for nearly a month (story here).

During that time, 26-year-old Supachet Ngamsong, a visitor from Northern Thailand, drowned (story here).

As recently as last Wednesday – one day before the lifeguards left the beaches – lifeguards were needed to safely recover a German tourist who was struck in the head by the propeller of a longtail boat off Karon Beach (story here).

In our latest poll, we ask Gazette readers how we should hire our lifeguards to ensure they can keep safeguarding swimmers at our beaches uninterrupted of bureaucratic hurdles.Should they be hired as full-time employees, instead of hired by an annual contract that expires each year?

In short, “What is the best way to hire Phuket’s lifeguards?”

Responses available in the poll are:

Make them full-time government employees

Make them full-time employees, but not necessarily government

Keep the annual contract, but deadlines for renewal must be brought forward

Keep the annual contract as used now, it is the best solution

To have your say in this poll, vote at right.

If your preferred option is not listed, feel free to enter it in the comments section below, and we’ll make sure it’s counted.

If you have already voted and want to check the latest results, click here.

To view the results of our previous poll, asking “Do you trust the Thai Police?”, click here.

Have an idea for a poll? Contact us with your suggestions at polls@phuketgazette.net

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

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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Bangkok

The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations

The Thaiger

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The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com

In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.

But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.

Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.

In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.

The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.

By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.

Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.

You can read the full list HERE.

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

The world's fastest growing tourist destinations | News by The Thaiger

Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com

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