Amidst storms, red flags raised on Phuket’s beaches

Photo by Pattaya Mail.

As storms continue to plunder through Phuket, red flags have been raised on the island province’s beaches. Beaches with red flags now include Patong Beach, Surin Beach, Kata Beach, and Karon Beach, among others. Tourists have been asked not to get in the water at these beaches while the red flags are posted.

This news comes as stormy waves have caused several drowning incidents in Phuket in the past month. Some tourists have gone swimming despite red flag warnings. On July 31, a Vietnamese woman and her daughter drowned while swimming at Naithon Beach in the Thalang district.

Upon investigating, it was found that three Vietnamese tourists that were staying at the Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach had decided to go swimming that morning despite the red flag warnings that the waters were unsafe. They had gone swimming before lifeguards were on duty.

A similar incident happened last month when a British tourist ignored red flags and went swimming at Kata Beach. He was then swept away by the waves, and a doctor got in the water to try to save him. Both men ended up drowning.

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In the aftermath of that incident, Phuket’s Governor Narong started pushing to increase safety measures. He visited Patong Beach for an inspection, saying he wished to support the lifeguards working there. Red flags were posted on the beach, and lifeguards were stationed to closely monitor tourists’ safety.

Narong said that all relevant officials and sectors had been ordered to care for tourists as best they can. He added that there is also an emphasis on vice governors, district chiefs, local officials, and police closely monitoring tourists’ safety.

Phuket has yet to see if closer monitoring on top of the red flags will deter tourists from swimming in dangerous seas.

SOURCE: Pattaya Mail

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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