Small boats ordered to stay ashore, day trips cancelled

PHUKET: Day-trip tourists are to remain ashore today after Phuket officials ordered that all boats less than nine meters remain on the island until further notice.

“The order became effective today. We’ll see what the weather does and make adjustments accordingly. I’m expecting to have to order boats smaller than 12 meters to keep ashore soon,” Phuket Marine Office Chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut told the Phuket Gazette.

The Thai Meteorological Department (TMD) also issued a warning today for all boats to proceed with caution, and small boats to stay ashore until July 13.

The report noted that strong southwest monsoon weather would prevail across the Andaman Sea until at least July 13, bringing heavy rain, strong winds and large waves.

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“All ships should proceed with caution, as well as stay tuned to the weather forecast and official orders until further notice,” said Santhawat Riwleung, chief of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Phuket office.

The current sea conditions have already forced lifeguards to close some parts of Kata, Karon and Patong beaches.

“I am installing red flags and roping off ‘No Swimming’ sections of the beach that are dangerous,” Uten Singsom, Kata-Karon chief lifeguard, told the Gazette today.

On Saturday, a tourist who was not obeying red flags and lifeguards’ warnings drowned after a large wave dragged him away from the beach (story here).

“We have been forced to open some sections of the beach for swimming, because we aren’t able to keep the tourists out of the water. However, these sections of beach are being closely watched,” said Mr Uten.

The head lifeguard in Patong, Wirot Saweangphol, also confirmed that some sections of the popular destination beach are closed.

— Chutharat Plerin

Phuket News

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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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