CHALONG: A 15-million-baht Sea Rescue Center is to be set up to coordinate emergency rescue operations off Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi, it was revealed today. The center, to be set up in Chalong, will become a nerve center for information about mishaps and accidents at sea, which will be gathered and disseminated to various marine agencies. Making the announcement today, Dr Prasit Koeysiripong, President of the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization, said, “The navy has ships and helicopters. The Harbor Master’s Office, the police and the Phuket Provincial Health Office also have vessels or helicopters. “So we are looking at a budget which will allow us to use these vehicles for rescue operations.” The project was aimed at promoting safety for tourists, Dr Prasit said, adding that all radio frequencies will be open so that the public can listen. “We regard the safety of tourists as paramount, and a lot of tourists travel by sea, so their safety must be ensured as best as possible,” Dr Prasit said. “This center will encompass Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi because those are the places where a lot of tourists go for sight-seeing, and almost all of it is done on boats. “Wherever an incident takes place, the emergency message will be relayed to the rescuers closest to hand.” The Beach Guard program, which provides trained lifeguards to protect swimmers on Phuket beaches during the dangerous monsoon season, will also come under the control of the center. Dr Prasit said that all paperwork had been completed and forwarded to the Department of Local Administration. ” We are just waiting for approval of the budget, which should be no problem,” he said.
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