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Phuket lifeguards save 333 swimmers after return to beaches

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket lifeguards save 333 swimmers after return to beaches | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Officially back on the beaches May 28, after another contract signing saga, Phuket lifeguards saved 333 people in the following 31 days, according to an announcement made by Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) President Paiboon Upatising yesterday.

“Despite the work of the lifeguards, four people have drowned this year. They drowned because they either ignored the red warning flags or went swimming at night,” President Paiboon said.

“I’d like to ask all people and organizations connected with tourism to warn tourists of the potential dangers [on the coastline]. I’d also like for local government officials and beach vendors to coordinate better with lifeguards when it comes to warning tourists.

“In some countries lifeguards have the right to arrest people who ignore their warnings, but in Thailand they can’t,” President Paiboon added.

Under the conditions of the new contract Phuket Lifeguard Service Co Ltd is able to employ 106 staff, both lifeguards and management, at 33 stations on 13 beaches throughout the island.

The lifeguard stations are divided among the three Phuket districts, with 12 covering the southern end of the island in Muang; eight in Kathu covering central Phuket and 13 serving Thalang in the north.

“We have three lifeguards in each station working from 9am to 7pm watching for swimmers in trouble,” said Phuket Lifeguard Service Co Ltd manager Wirote Sawaengphol.

This year, lifeguards have increased the number of red flags being used three-fold.

Red flags, meaning “No Swimming”, are placed to inform potential victims that dangerous currents, submerged rocks and other threats lurk offshore. A yellow flag indicates the area is not supervised by lifeguards, but one may swim with caution. Flags which are yellow and red planted in the sand tell swimmers that lifeguards are on duty and observing the area between the yellow-red flags.

“In both monsoon season and high season, we can’t guarantee swimmers’ safety. There are so many variables, such as jellyfish or other poisonous sea animals, even someone’s underlying medical condition can cause them to drown,” explained Mr Wirote.

“Having lifeguards on duty is really the last ditch effort to saving someone’s life. We’re trying to solve the problem at the wrong end. The best way to warn tourists [and prevent drownings] is through the tour agencies and hotels, as they have a closer relationship with the tourists,” he said

Phuket Lifeguard Club President Prathaiyut “Nut” Chuayuan told the Gazette on July 17 that they were now working on the new warning signs to be installed on Phuket beaches.

The 80 by 60 centimeter signs will carry warnings in 11 languages: Thai, English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Russian, Arabic, Italian and Hindi.

“As soon as we get the wording checked by a native speaker of each language the signs will be ready for use. We intend to place the signs next to the red warning flags,” he said.

— Chutharat Plerin

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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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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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Phuket

Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works

The Thaiger

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Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works | The Thaiger

The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.

The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.

The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.

Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.

As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.

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